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Waterway project awarded grant

September 28, 1998|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

The Beaver Creek Restoration project that will address about 630 feet of the waterway in Washington County recently received an $80,000 grant from the Board of Public Works.

The project, which includes installing fences, heightening the banks and planting trees, will be put out to bid and is expected to begin in May 1999 with completion in June 1999.

"This particular project is very important because of the reduction of stream bank erosion and habitat restoration that will occur," said Elmer D. Weibley, district manager of the Washington County Soil Conservation District.

"I also would like to stress the high visibility of this project, due to its location adjacent to the State Trout Hatchery and Interstate 70, provides many opportunities to share this worthwhile project and its benefits with the public," he said.

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The stream bank has been deteriorating steadily for the past 15 to 20 years, according to Weibley.

"It has been a gradual process caused primarily by livestock having access to the stream - walking back and forth and causing the banks to erode," he said.

In addition, increased development of the area has added more runoff water.

The improvements will help the nearby fishery and all the fish living in the stream, as well as the watershed below and the Chesapeake Bay, said Weibley.

Once the work is done, it should last indefinitely, he said.

"The animals have been excluded from the creek and the area should heal itself to some degree," he said.

Additional planting of trees and shrubs will also improve the area, he said.

"By stabilizing the stream bank, sediment pollution from erosion will be eliminated in this segment of Beaver Creek," said Governor Parris N. Glendening in a press release.

"The improved water quality in the creek will benefit the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay," Glendening said.

In addition to the state grant, the project received $41,000 from the Washington County Soil Conservation district and $39,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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