Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS)

In 2002 a watershed restoration action strategy (WRAS) was established for cleaning up the Corsica River.

view of the Corsica River and eroding shoreline with a home

A watershed assessment was performed with the assistance of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that involved a one hundred mile stream corridor assessment which  measured  water quality in the main stem and the adjoining streams as well as  information about the natural resources. The stream and river conditions were rated for severity, accessibility and restoration. Under the Town’s leadership, a stake holder’s group was formed which later evolved into the present dayCorsica River’s Implementer’s Committee. The Committee meets monthly and consists of representatives from Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Maryland Department of Planning, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Queen Anne’s County Department of Public Works& Planning and Zoning, the Corsica River Conservancy, the Master Gardeners Program, University of Maryland, Queen Anne’s County Soil Conservation District, the Chester River Association, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.??The Corsica River was designated as impaired under Maryland’s Clean Water?Action Plan. The Clean Water Action Plan was developed in 1998 to identify and restore watersheds not meeting clean water and other natural resources goals. The Corsica watershed was rated as needing  restoration in four categories:  sediments, nutrients, PCBs and  bacteria.

The WRAS was completed in September 2004 by a stakeholders group consisting of representatives from Queen Anne’s Soil Conservation District, the USDA-NRCS, the Chester River Association, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy,   the Queen Anne’s County Planning Commission, Queen Anne’s County Planning and Zoning,  and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The University of Maryland, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Queen Anne’s County Health Department and local builders/developers also participated. The stakeholder group met 11 times over a two year period.

The Goal of the WRAS was to remove the  Corsica from the 303 d list  of impaired waterways. This goal was to be accomplished by putting in place the following 13 implementation strategies.

  1. Increase Nutrient uptake: install 3,000 acres of cover crops to reduce nutrients by 21,000 lbs (N) and 570 lbs (P).
  2. AG Nutrient and Sediment reducing Buffers: Add 100 acres of Ag nutrient /sediment buffers 100 ft wide. The reduction is 9,188 lbs (N) and 792 lbs (P).
  3. Whole Farm Management and Horse Pasture Management: Manure storage/ treatment and stormwater entrapment on farms and horse pastures ten acres or less. Demonstration projects on fifty acres (five farmettes /10 acres each). The nutrient reduction is 15,977 lbs of (N) and 1,944lbs of (P).
  4. Household Pollution Reduction outreach program for the Town of Centreville to encourage a nutrient management program on lawn fertilization and pet waste control. The total loading reduction goal is 17% for (N) and 22% for (P). Progress will be monitored by a phone survey.
  5. Water Quality Monitoring of Main Stem: The Chester River Association (CRA), DNR and University of Maryland will work together to develop a water quality monitoring program.
  6. Increase Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: Planting and seedings of one acre of SAV.  Plantings are to begin in 2005. The measure of success will be the square footage   of SAV planted in the spring compared to the amount of SAV surviving into the fall.
  7. Centreville Low Impact Development Ordinance and Stormwater Manual: The town of Centreville will produce a water quality ordinance  and water quality design manual to supercede the existing Queen Anne County Stormwater management ordinance. This low impact design is modeled after Huntersville , North Carolina’s low impact development ordinance.  Design and construction of regional urban stormwater management facilities at Millstream and Gravel Run. The goal reduction is 33% for (N) and 46% for (P).
  8. Bay Friendly Landscaping?
    Citizen Outreach.- Citizens will learn how to  reduce pollution by using native plants which require fewer chemicals. This will include rain gardens.?Public Landscaping Demonstration Project-Restore an environmentally impaired site to use as an example. Success is measured by the number of citizens that participate. Centreville town will donate public lands for the project at the Millstream and Gravel Run. Residential Buffer Planting and Conservation Landscaping –Identify and prioritize residential areas in need of increased buffers . There is a  buffer gap of 23,898 linear feet. The goals is to cover 90% of this gap. There will be workshops for property owners. It is hoped that through the workshops residents will be willing to sign up for the program.??
  9. Easement Incentives – Acquisition of development rights within the Corsica.??
  10. Non Agricultural Wetlands Creation – 2 wetland restoration sites will be identified with the intention to engage 100 citizens in marsh plantings and the restoration.  The anticipated pollution reduction is nitrogen-42%, phosphorus-52%.??
  11. Septic System Retrofit -reduce nutrients from septic systems that lie within the 300 foot critical area. The focus will be within a 300ft buffer of perennial streams or tide water.??
  12. Ecoteams – The Chester River Association will lead this effort. Urban/suburban homeowners will be recruited to participate in local teams which can adopt their local waterways thru monitoring and stream clean up projects. Participants will learn homeowner BMPs for river protection and restoration. There will be support groups and volunteer team leaders. The phosphorus reduction per household is 10 lbs and they anticipate 50 households will participate. This is a total reduction of 500 lbs of P.??
  13. Turbidity Reduction – The reintroduction of Oyster reef ecosystems will assist with turbidity reduction.
    Progress to date in meeting these strategies in displayed graphically below.McCoy 1(1-08)McCoy 2 (1-08)McCoy 3 (1-08)

    Corsica River 6-Year Progress Report


    Corsica Box Model