DEP receives recognition from national and local groups

Image of DEP testing water quality
March 4, 2014
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Although the Department of Environmental Protection prefers celebrating the great work of County residents in protecting their environment, we’re going to toot our horn a bit. DEP recently received a national engineering award as well as recognition from a local community group!


Exceptional Achievement in Engineering

DEP’s Watershed Restoration Division recently won a National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies for a stormwater management project with the National Institutes of Health.

Image of Stony Creek at NIH

Stony Creek at NIH


The project titled, “Stoney Creek at NIH” involved the construction of a stormwater management pond on NIH’s campus. The stormwater management project features two underground trash collection chambers for capturing trash and pollutants washing downstream from Bethesda, aerators to enhance pond water circulation and native landscaping of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, grasses and wetland vegetation. These features are important for supporting a diverse and balanced community of amphibians, insects, fishes, and birds. NIH employees and residents of the nearby Bethesda community can now enjoy new wildlife habitat, cleaner waters in their streams and the addition of a serene place to relax during the workday.

The pond is an example of how Montgomery County is meeting stormwater management goals, while improving the quality of life of residents.

Congratulations to the whole Watershed Restoration team!


Supporting Community WatchDogs

The Montgomery County Civic Federation recently awarded their Community Hero Award to County residents involved with the Water WatchDog program. The winners of the award from the Friends of Sligo Creek graciously recognized the contribution of DEP to their success.

The Water WatchDog program is a simple online system for reporting water pollution to County investigators. Many people walk, hike, cycle or travel to work near Sligo Creek as part of their daily routine. Through the Water WatchDog program, they can report any water pollution issues they see directly to the County. The alert is received immediately by DEP’s Compliance staff, allowing them to act on the problem right away.

Image of unknown discharge in Sligo Creek

Example of illicit discharge into Sligo Creek. DEP staff respond to reports of water pollution.


“For people to report pollution, they need to know that their report will be taken seriously on a timely basis, that skillful detective work will be done and that polluters will be stopped and fined, if possible. Citizens want clean water and want to stop pollution, but they need to know that the trouble they take to report a problem – even if only to make a 2 minute report – will be useful. Without your work, momentum for citizen pollution reporting would not be building. If we can use a program like Water WatchDogs as a model (especially to figure out pollution sources for known hot spots), we can not only work together to improve our water but also build citizen involvement.  I am convinced that ‘customer’ demand is there and just needs to be tapped.” – Anne Vorce, Friends of Sligo Creek

DEP is not eligible for the award, but appreciates the Friends of Sligo Creek taking the time to recognize the great work of DEP staff!  The Water WatchDog program shows how County agencies and community groups can work together to achieve great things.

Congratulations to the Friends of Sligo Creek and the DEP Compliance team!

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