Cabin Branch Stream Restoration

What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.  

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

Stream Restoration
A crowd gathers at the opening for the reconstructed stream. Credit: Severn Riverkeeper.
The reconstructed stream will slow runoff and reduce pollution. Credit: Severn Riverkeeper.

Project location: Annapolis, MD

Problem:  The watershed of Cabin Branch Stream contains the Annapolis Mall and associated commercial areas.  Due to a high concentration of impervious surfaces in this area, water quality in the stream has been deteriorating.

Solution: The nonprofit Severn RiverKeeper and its partners installed various green infrastructure practices in and around Cabin Branch Stream, including graded cascades, cobbled riffles and vegetated pools.  These practices slow the flow of stormwater into the Stream, reducing erosion and allowing pollutants to filter out.  This project raised and reconnected the stream bed to its original network of wetlands, significantly reducing sediment and toxic pollution in Cabin Branch Stream and its receiving waterbody, the Severn River.

Scale: 1,700 linear feet treating runoff from 144 acres

Funding sources:  MD Department of the Environment; MD Department of Natural Resources’ Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund; National Fish & Wildlife Foundation; Watershed Assistance Collaborative (grants totaling $900,000); plus corporate grants totaling $50,000.

More information:

Contact Information
Fred Kelly | Severn Riverkeeper | 410-279-3586
Key project facts
Project Type
Stream Restoration
Project Scale
$100,000 - $249,999
Story Focus
Environmental Benefits
Community Engagement
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Runoff Pollution
Year Installed
Before 2013
State Legislative District
Federal Legislative District
MD 4th