Brier’s Mill Run 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
before image
Rapidly moving stormwater eroded this creek bed and created an unsafe setting behind a middle school. Credit: Anacostia Watershed Society.
after image
The restored creek bed can handle higher flow volumes and acts as an outdoor classroom. Credit: Anacostia Watershed Society.


Project Location: Riverdale Park, MD

Problem:  Riverdale Park is a densely-populated community in Prince George’s County with a high level of impervious cover.  Stormwater runoff from the community had severely eroded the stream channel of Brier’s Mill Run, a tributary of the Anacostia River.  In addition, stormwater carried silt, trash and pollutants to the creek and created unsightly and unsafe conditions at the community’s middle school, where a majority of students are minority and low-income.

Solution: A collaborative project led by the Anacostia Watershed Society restored 125 linear feet of the Brier’s Mill Run stream channel, using a series of pools and waterfalls to slow stormwater flows and allow pollutant filtration.  The restored site is now a teaching and testing site for students at the middle school.

Scale: 170 linear feet treating 26.7 acres including 9 acres of paved surfaces

Cost: $302,000 and 157 volunteer hours

Funding sources: MD Department of Natural Resources’ Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund 

Partners: Anacostia Watershed Society; Biohabitats Inc.; Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission; Prince George’s County Department of Public Works; Prince George’s County Public Schools; Underwood Construction

More information:


Contact Information
Kit Gage | 301-587-7442
Key project facts
Project Type
Stream Restoration
Project Scale
$250,000 - $499,999
Story Focus
Environmental Justice
Environmental Benefits
Community Engagement
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Failing Infrastructure
Flooding / Drainage
Health Hazard
Runoff Pollution
Year Installed
State Legislative District
Federal Legislative District