Pines on the Severn Living Shoreline

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!

Before image
The old park with failing wooden bulkheads. Credit: Underwood and Associates.
After image
The restored living shoreline with an osprey nest. Credit: Underwood and Associates.

Project location: Arnold, MD

Problem: Pines on the Severn is a waterfront community on the Severn River north of Annapolis.  Four hundred feet of the community's shared waterfront had become severely eroded, with failing wooden bulkheads and fallen trees.

Solution: Faced with a need to repair and rehabilitate the waterfront, the Pines Community Improvement Association considered various forms of shoreline reinforcement including hard structures such as bulkheads and riprap, as well as more natural approaches.  The community opted to create a living shoreline, so that the project would not only control erosion but also restore habitat.  The community partnered with the nonprofit Severn Riverkeeper to secure grant funding for construction.  The new living shoreline increased the amount of usable waterfront acreage and made the area more aesthetically appealing and wildlife-friendly.  It has also raised residents’ awareness of water quality issues. 

Cost: $325,000

Scale: 400 feet of waterfront

Funding sources: Chesapeake Bay Trust; MD Department of Natural Resources' Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund

More information:

Contact Information
Ellen Posten | E-mail: | 410-757-2694
Key project facts
Project Type
Project Scale
$250,000 - $499,999
Story Focus
Environmental Benefits
Community Engagement
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Failing Infrastructure
Flooding / Drainage
Health Hazard
Runoff Pollution
Year Installed
State Legislative District
Federal Legislative District
MD 4th