Watershed Management

Watershed Implementation Plan

Watershed Implementation Plan II (WIP II) The WIP II has now been developed for Howard County and can be viewed by clicking on this link. Contact Mark Richmond at 410-313-6413 or msrichmond@howardcountymd.gov or 410-313-6444 for further questions about the WIP II plan.


Upper Little Patuxent Watershed Management Plan

In 2007, the County's Stormwater Management Division began work on the Upper Little Patuxent River Management Plan. The Upper Little Patuxent River Study area is 17.3 square miles and contains approximately 44 miles of streams. The purpose of the plan is to identify problem areas in the watershed that may affect water quality and to develop a watershed restoration plan to address the problems.

The first of two planned public meetings was held on June 3, 2008, to report on the findings of the County's initial stream corridor assessment, which assesses the conditions of the County's stream. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what citizens can do to help improve water quality in the watershed and to solicit input. The meeting presentation and maps are available below:


June 2008 Presentation

Upper Little Patuxent Public Meeting Presentation

Stream Corridor Assessment Results

Impervious Cover Maps

Typical Pollutant Loading Model Results Map

The second public meeting was held March 24, 2009 to review the results of the study. Overall watershed recommendations and specific projects were presented at the meeting as were actions that can be implemented to help the health of the Little Patuxent River and its tributaries. The meeting presentation and maps are available below:


March 2009 Presentation

Upper Little Patuxent Public Meeting #2 Presentation

(Note: If a potential project has a concept plan, you can view the concept plan by clicking on the site label on the Watershed Study Results Map.)

The final report and watershed results map for the Upper Little Patuxent Watershed Management Plan is available below:

Final Report

Watershed Study Results Map

For additional information, please contact Mark Richmond at 410.313.6413 or msrichmond@howardcountymd.gov.


Centennial Lake and Wilde Lake Watershed Studies

In 2004 – 2005 the County’s Stormwater Management Division conducted a watershed assessment and developed a watershed restoration plan for the Centennial Lake and Wilde Lake watersheds. Wilde Lake is a 1.9 square mile watershed, which is highly developed and is predominated by low, medium, and high density residential development Centennial Lake is a 3.6 square mile watershed, which is less densely developed and contains mostly low density residential development and low intensity agriculture.

The purpose of the studies was to assess the water quality in the lakes as well as the streams draining to the lakes, and then to propose strategies and projects for the restoration and protection of the lakes and their tributaries.

Two public meetings were held to discuss the findings of the study and to solicit stakeholder input on the assessment and proposed restoration strategies. The results of the studies are contained in the Centennial and Wilde Lake Watershed Restoration Plan (September 1, 2005). The Plan contains specific locations and recommendations for projects and actions that can be taken to improve the health of the lakes and the streams that drain to them. To view the study, click on the links below:

For more information please contact Mark Richmond at 410-313-6413 or msrichmond@howardcountymd.gov


Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS)


Little Patuxent WRAS

In 2001, The Stormwater Management Division was awarded a $45,000 grant by the Department of Natural Resources, to study and improve the water quality in the streams of Little Patuxent River Watershed. The purpose of the grant was to develop a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS) that would restore and protect water quality and habitat, and answer the need for community environmental education. The scope of the work involved developing a watershed restoration plan that identified and prioritized actions and strategies. The results of the plan included:

- collecting existing information on the watershed, from County and State sources;

- adding research results from a planned bio-monitoring study in selected areas of the watershed to look closely at water quality indicators, including examination of stream creatures and their tolerance to pollution;

- conducting a forest assessment that documented the location, acreage and condition of existing forest cover throughout the watershed. The assessment also indicated areas in need of riparian (along river or stream) buffers; and

- implementing a public outreach and education campaign for community involvement, including residential, business, and farm interests.

In 2002, Howard County received a $35,000 grant to implement the Little Patuxent Watershed Restoration Action Strategy. The grant's objective was to plant trees along stream edges in order to protect the stream. The trees were planted on County parkland in the Fall of 2002. The County is also working on a public outreach project to plant trees on private land within the Little Patuxent. Residents who live near a stream in the Little Patuxent may be eligible for free trees.

Click on the link to read the Little Patuxent WRAS Report


Patapsco WRAS

In 2005, Howard County was awarded a $40,000 grant to conduct a WRAS in the Patapsco watershed. The first year of the WRAS involved analyzing data collected by the Department of Natural Resources and determining what restoration work will be done in the watershed. Click on the link to read the Lower Patapsco WRAS Final Report

For information about the Little Patuxent or the Patapsco WRAS, please contact Angela Morales at 410-313-6586 or e-mail her at amorales@howardcountymd.gov