Watershed Restoration Division – 2019 Highlights!

December 31, 2019

The mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County’s air, water and land in a sustainable way while fostering smart growth, a thriving economy and healthy communities.

The Watershed Restoration Division is dedicated to improving stream health and water quality in Montgomery County, MD.

We accomplish this through our programs.

Below you will find 2019 highlights. We hope you enjoy!


RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program   

One Montgomery Green RainScapes Conservation Landscape Garden in Wheaton, MD

The RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program offers rebates to property owners who install RainScapes techniques such as rain gardens, rain barrels, conservation landscaping and other approved projects that help control stormwater. This program is open to properties in Montgomery County outside the municipalities of Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park.

Total Square Footage for Projects in 2019:

  • Conservation Landscaping – 41,426 Ft2 Total Project Size
  • Rain Garden – 1,585 Ft2 Total Project Size
  • Permeable Pavement – 7,425 Ft2 Total project Size

Thanks to all these projects there are many more native plants out there!!!

In 2019, 466 applications were received for RainScapes techniques.  Requests for RainScapes Rebates include:

  • 246 for conservation landscapes
  • 106 for rain gardens
  • 67 for permeable pavement replacement projects
  • 27 for rain barrels
  • 12 for pavement removal
  • 7 for cisterns
  • 1 for a green roof

Design and Construction

Falls Reach Pond After construction – stormwater facility

In 2019, 7 capital improvement projects were completed!

  • Flints Grove Stream Restoration
  • Greencastle Lakes SWM Pond Retrofit
  • Fallsreach Stream Restoration
  • Kemp Mill SWM Pond Retrofit
  • Fallsreach SWM Pond Retrofit
  • Flints Grove SWM Pond Retrofit and
  • Watkins Meadow SWM Pond Retrofit

Fallsreach stream during construction


Fallsreach stream after construction

Stream Monitoring

Water quality monitoring includes:

  • Assessments of the biological community living in our streams and waterways
  • Assessments of the structure, flow, and physical condition of the stream itself
  • Instantaneous water chemistry and testing

In 2019,

  • 112 sites were sampled
  • 47 species of fish were found
  • 40,760 individual fish were collected
  • 19,792 benthic macroinvertebrates were subsampled
  • 2,420 square feet of benthic habitat were sampled
  • During the 2019 summer 7 interns helped with monitoring efforts, donating more than 900 hours of their time!

Summer 2019 stream monitoring interns

Forest and Tree Montgomery

Tree Montgomery is a FREE program to plant shade trees across Montgomery County.  Our goal is simple – to plant shade trees and increase our tree canopy to provide a wide array of benefits for you and your community.

In FY19, 531 shade trees were planted!

  • Including at four schools: Judith Resnick, Cedar Grove, Brook Haven, and Herbert Hoover
  • Including at two libraries: Kensington Park and Connie Morella

Judith Resnick Elementary School – planting trees with students

So far, in FY20

  • 496 trees ordered and scheduled to be installed in the spring of 2020
  • 514 Tree Montgomery Applications have been processed
  • 357 Site Visits have been completed

Stormwater Facility Maintenance Inspections

Permeable pavers being cleaned

Montgomery County uses above and below ground structures (we call them stormwater management facilities) to remove pollutants from the stormwater before the water gets to streams.  In Montgomery county there are currently more than 14,000 stormwater facilities.

In 2019, the Stormwater Facility Maintenance Inspection program:

    • completed 5,073 Inspections of stormwater facilities
    • maintained 4,412 facilities
    • In total, 5,371 Facilities were maintained throughout County (DEP and Private)

Program Highlights in the Maintenance Program:

  • Led extensive Woodrock Pond Emergency Repairs following July 8th flooding
  • Installed a new Dam monitoring station with camera and continuous monitoring capability at the entry to the Wheaton Regional stormwater pond on Dennis Ave.
  • Maintained over 2,000 highly visible, beautiful environmental site design gardens and green roofs at County public facilities and neighborhood Green Streets.
  • In 2019, the Division initiated a new stormwater maintenance assistance program for County homeowners to provide technical assistance and streamline applications for water quality protection charge credits

 Watershed Outreach

With more than 1 million residents calling Montgomery county home, our goal is to engage and motivate Montgomery County residents take actions to improve water quality and to keep our streams healthy.

To help accomplish our goal, in 2019 the Division:

  • Held 9 cleanups
  • Worked with 155 volunteers
  • Collected 11,500 pounds of poop
  • Installed 25 pet waste station
  • Painted 7 storm drains

In addition to our programs, the Division hosts and participates in numerous outreach events. In 2019, staff participated in over 80 outreach events

  • Trainings
  • Frogwatch classroom training March 2019 and three field trainings from April through June 2019!
  • Greenfest -April 2019
  • Chesapeake Bay Awareness week – June 2019
  • Breewood Celebration in honor of Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week -June 2019
  • Agricultural fair – August 2019
  • H2O summit – November 2019

In 2019, DEP launched a community-based social marking program to help reduce litter in the White Oak neighborhood.

Lift up White Oak – outreach material

Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grants

The Montgomery County Government, through its Department of Environmental Protection, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announce the fourth year of the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach grant program to support watershed restoration and stewardship in Montgomery County. The goal of this program is to reduce stormwater runoff and pollutants entering our waterways through community-based restoration implementation as well as projects focused on public engagement through education, outreach, and stewardship.

In 2019 DEP issued 9 grants for $388,000.

  1. Anacostia Riverkeeper, $30,000: for a gravel swale and conservation landscape plantings at the Tartan Ridge Community in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
  2. Anacostia Riverkeeper, $54,000: for removal of impervious surface, construction of a rain garden, and native tree plantings at Adventist Community Services in Silver Spring, Maryland.
  3. Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, Inc, $31,180: for developing design plans for stormwater management practices to reduce runoff and pollution to Rock Creek at Woodend Nature Sanctuary
  4. Bethesda Green, $80,000: for conservation landscaping, community outreach, and an innovative cistern automation pilot program at the Glen Waye Gardens Condominium in Silver Spring, Maryland.
  5. Friends of Cabin John Creek, $52,820: for community outreach and stewardship through the Stormwater Solutions Program in the Cabin John Creek Watershed.
  6. Friends of Sligo Creek, $20,000: for a comprehensive stormwater management plan and construction of a demonstration stormwater management project with interpretive signage for the Carolyn Condominium Complex
  7. Little Falls Watershed Alliance, $20,000: for community outreach, the installation of a bioretention project, conservation landscape planting, and drywells in the Sumner Village Condominium Association
  8. Our House Inc., $70,000: for removing invasive pear trees, conservation landscape plantings, tree plantings, and stewardship training at Our House Inc. in Brookeville, Maryland.
  9. University of Maryland, College Park, $30,000: for a targeted stormwater outreach campaign in Montgomery County.

Thank you to all that participated in one of our programs or stopped by to chat with us at one of our outreach events!

We look forward to 2020!

3 comments on "Watershed Restoration Division – 2019 Highlights!"

  1. Joel Teitelbaum says:

    Happy New Year 2020,

    DEP’s Watershed Restoration and Improvement Program is essential, especially in this time of rising precipitation extreme events, pollutants in residential neighborhoods, and overall losses to surface and subsurface water quality in streams and Chesapeake Bay.

    I am interested in several of your programs for my down county neighborhood and surrounds, and elsewhere in the County and region.. I am participating in my neighborhood Civic Association’s UMD’s Outreach ‘Stormwater Team’ Project. I admire the approach of this initiative, but have some concerns about how effectively and accurately it is being implemented by UMD’s Environmental Finance Center. I raised the question of making this UMD stormwater outreach project with Mr. Ortiz at his Public presentation on DEP late last year. He suggested I talk to your stormwater expert staff. Please contact me confidentially about this issue, ASAP.
    Sincerely, Joel Teitelbaum, Rosemary Hills, Silver Spring, MD. Tel. 301-589-2340

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      Thank you for your comment. We will be in touch with you.

  2. Clyde Bloom says:

    I found this post very interesting and informative. Thank you for sharing your special thoughts with us. I definitely share this with my peeps.

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