SEVERN, Md. — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment to restore a tributary stream of the Severn River in Anne Arundel County.
The tributary being restored, the Jabez Branch, is somewhat of an oddity in Maryland’s Coastal Plain region.
For starters, it is full of cold fresh spring water, shielded from the warm rays of the sun by the dense forest around it. In addition to this, it is also the only stream in the Coastal Plain that can support a self-sustaining population of brook trout.
For those who might not know, brook trout can only survive in cold, fresh, clear waters mostly located in mountainous regions in North America, so it is an anomaly of nature that these animals have found a place to survive in a region such as this.
For the past few decades, however, both the stream and the brook trout population have been in decline. This is mainly due to storms that have been causing runoff to flow into the stream, lowering the overall quality of the water.
According to the DNR’s habitat conservation and restoration director Claudia Donegan, “We have to go fix this stream to make it better for everybody, including trout.”
This is an expensive project that could cost over $5 million, it also needs permission from the Army Corps of Engineers, but DNR is expecting them to approve soon.
If the Army Corps of Engineers approves as expected, the restoration project is expected to happen in the Spring of 2023.
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