Construction set to begin on Pinedale Drive stream restoration

Baltimore CountyBaltimore County Councilman David Marks announced on Thursday that construction will begin on June 1st on a project to improve the tributary of the Lower Gunpowder River between Pinedale Drive and Klausmier Roads.

Contractors hired by Baltimore County will restore approximately 2,500 linear feet of degraded stream using Natural Design Techniques.

“Over the past two decades, Baltimore County has focused on repairing streams that were damaged by earlier development,” Councilman Marks said. “The county improved Jennifer Run in Carney, and I am pleased that improvements are now underway in central Perry Hall.”

The project is expected to cost $350,000 for design and $1.2 million for construction.

Bird River dredging project announced

Bevins Kamenetz River DredgingProject to Improve Boating Navigation and Safety

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Sixth District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins visited the Bird River waterfront in Middle River on Thursday to announce a dredging project to support recreational boating on the upper Bird River and enhance the county’s waterfront communities.

“Our waterfront is one of Baltimore County’s best amenities and this project will help homeowners and recreational boaters access the Bird River and benefit from being on the water,” said Kamenetz. “With more than 200 miles of waterfront and 2,000 miles of streams and tributaries in the County, we are committed to protecting our waterways and our Clean Green County initiative is restoring streambanks and shorelines, planting trees, even sweeping streets, all to protect the Bay.”

The project will dredge sections of Bird River and Railroad Creek in order to improve boating navigation and safety. The upper reaches of Bird River and Railroad Creek have become silted in from sedimentation of the river, resulting in reduced channel depth. Bird River and Railroad Creek were previously dredged in 2002-2003.

“This is a project that everyone is certainly looking forward to, especially at the upper reaches of the river to allow people to get their boats out,” said Bevins.

Project Details

The design and permitting of the Bird River maintenance dredging project will be initiated in FY18 with construction anticipated to begin approximately two years from that date. The project will restore the river channels to the previously permitted design depths, removing an estimated 50,000 cubic yards of material from 25,650 linear feet of the channel.

The estimated cost is $4.5 million, with partial funding provided through grants by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Waterway Improvement Fund. The County will fund 55% of the project cost with the remaining 45% coming from the State grant.

Hydrographic surveys were conducted in 2015 to assess the need for maintenance dredging. The results of the survey indicated that portions of the channel upstream from Stumpf’s Marsh and Railroad Creek have filled in two feet or more than the design depth of the channel. The dredging will remove about 50,000 cubic yards of material from 25,650 linear feet of the channel and place it at the Baltimore County dredge material containment facility adjacent to Bowerman Lane.

Waterfront Residents May Choose to Finance Spur Channels to Restore Boating Access to their Properties

In the upcoming year Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) will conduct a community meeting to discuss the proposed waterway dredging. At that time waterfront property owners may elect to have a spur channel dredged from the County’s main channel to their individual pier or boat ramp at their own expense. EPS will provide assistance with spur design, permitting and construction. Additionally, the County will offer 10-year interest free loans to qualified individuals.

Volunteers plant 100 trees in eastern Perry Hall

Gunpowder Valley Conservancy MarksOn Saturday, April 15th, volunteers with the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy planted 100 trees at the Maryland State Game and Fish Protective Association.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks and local Boy Scout units helped with the effort.

The tree plantings are part of a comprehensive effort to improve water quality and enhance the environment at the 25-acre Maryland State Fish and Game Protective Association, one of the largest privately-owned environmental conservation areas in northeastern Baltimore County.

The project exceeds $143,000 and is funded by a variety of environmental foundations.

“I would like to thank the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and everyone involved in this terrific project,” Councilman Marks said. “It is always an honor to work with Peggy Perry from the GVC on great initiatives in our area.”

Eastern Tech team advances to VEX Robotics World Championship

VEX RoboticsTOWSON, MD – Eleven teams representing Baltimore County Public Schools have qualified to participate in the VEX Robotics World Championship, sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, to be held April 19 – 25 in Louisville, Ky.

The participating teams are Dulaney High School team 1727G; Eastern Technical High School teams 5839E and 5839A; Hereford High School team 929U; Hereford Middle School teams 929B, 929J, 9290B, and 9290D; Patapsco High School team 6274B; Ridgely Middle School team 952B; and Towson High School team 934Z..

The teams secured spots at the world’s largest robotics competition through its success at the Maryland State Championships, where they won excellence, design, robot skills, or semifinalist awards, or won the event as a tournament champion or teamwork champion.

“Participating in the VEX Robotics Competition in school has strengthened the students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and given them the skills they need to succeed well beyond high school.” said Patapsco High School teacher Ryan Hoge. “We’re excited to attend the VEX Robotics World Championship to compete with teams from around the world.”

According to Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation, “Qualifying for the VEX Robotics World Championship is the culmination of a full year’s worth of academic success and an opportunity to join the best robotics teams from around the world to celebrate and help us crown world champions from elementary school, middle school, high school, and college.”

VEX Competitions are the fastest growing competitive robotics programs for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the world, with nearly 18,000 teams from over 40 countries that participate in more than 1,300 competitions worldwide. The competition season culminates each spring, with the VEX Robotics World Championship. The VEX Robotics World Championship will feature approximately 1,400 of the top teams from around the world.