Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Workshop to detail health of upcounty watershed

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County officials will present their findings on the health of Germantown’s watershed and discuss restoration strategies at a public forum next week.

Representatives with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection will field questions about the Great Seneca Creek and Muddy Branch watersheds from 7 to 9 p.m. July 17 at the Upcounty Regional Services Center, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown. Watershed restoration measures can include rain gardens, green roofs and stormwater ponds.

Preliminary data presented at a Germantown Master Plan update meeting in March revealed that stream conditions around the Town Center area of Germantown, located within the Little Seneca Creek and Middle Great Seneca Creek watersheds, had significantly declined between 2001 and 2006. The shift is due in part to an increase in impervious surfaces and a decrease in forested land, which filters and slows rainwater as it flows into streams and other bodies of water. Fast-moving runoff can cause erosion and carry pollutants into the water.

The Great Seneca Creek Watershed, the largest watershed located entirely in Montgomery County, begins near Damascus and ends just before the Potomac River. It is adjacent to the Muddy Branch Watershed, which starts in Gaithersburg and also stops just short of the Potomac.

For more information, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov⁄dep.