Location: Natural Resources > Ecosystem Restoration

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Ecosystem Restoration

ANACOSTIA EAST WETLAND
RESTORATION DESIGN

Maryland State Highway Administration

At 20 acres, this is the largest and most complex tidal wetland mitigation project undertaken by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). The project has increased the area of tidal wetland in the Anacostia River Watershed by 20 percent, and has improved water quality by filtering stormwater runoff. The innovative design of the tidal channel network blended empirical and analytical techniques, and was developed in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a trustee for the project. NOAA is promoting this design methodology on similar projects. The project’s trails are part of the Anacostia River Trail System, a 24-mile network connecting residents with transportation hubs—increasing sustainable commuting options while providing recreational and educational opportunities. An abandoned landfill at the site needed to be excavated to create the wetland. Offsite transportation and disposal of the waste was considered but would have been a significant expense. A more cost-effective design solution was developed and negotiated with project stakeholders and regulators, allowing placing and capping excavated waste onsite and significantly reducing the estimated construction costs. During construction, partnering meetings were held regularly with the stakeholders, regulators, designer, and contractor. Through this process, excess concrete and topsoil from other projects were identified and re-used for this project, resulting in cost savings to the project and avoiding wasting the material. EA was contracted by NOAA Restoration Center and Maryland SHA to perform the design, and was awarded the 2008 Maryland Quality Initiative Award of Excellence for Consultant Environmental Design for this project.

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