Friends of College Creek (FOCC)—an informal coalition of watershed stakeholders—has been active on and off since the mid-1990s. The coalition was re-activated by the Chesapeake Ecology Center in 2006 and 2007 to conduct a College Creek Watershed Assessment, while continuing work to protect and restore the watershed.
The FOCC Watershed Initiative was a collaborative effort involving several major watershed stakeholders, including the (former) Lower Western Shore Tributary Team, Chesapeake Ecology Center (CEC), Adams Academy at Adams Park, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, US Naval Academy, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Calvary United Methodist Church, St. John’s College, and Germantown-Homewood Civic Association. The City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and others have also made significant contributions.
Throughout 2007, Friends of College Creek met to make plans to conduct a new assessment of the environmental health, or lack thereof, of the watershed. Extensive data was obtained from various sources, including Water Quality Monitoring, Fish Survey, Impervious Cover and other overall watershed characteristics. From the spring of 2007 through the fall of 2007, several surveys were conducted, including SAV Surveys, Macroinvertebrate Survey, Upland Stream Survey, and Upland Photo Surveys.
The “2007 College Creek Watershed Assessment” (below) builds on the “1997 College Creek Watershed Survey,” both of which were conducted by Friends of College Creek. With the availability of new technologies since 1997, several new parameters were added to the 2007 data assembled and surveys conducted. To the extent practical, the 2007 Watershed Assessment results were compared to the results of the 1997 Watershed Survey. Notably, since 1997, the watershed has seen the construction of several large development projects, including: the District Court Building; Rowe Bridge reconstruction; several buildings including Park Place condominiums and the Westin Hotel on an 11-acre site; and the Severn Bank building.
Some major changes over the ten-year span are: increased impervious surface from 47 to 57 percent, along with concomitant runoff; increased invasive plant species; and a decrease in the number of individual dump sites (but not necessarily a decrease in the amount of trash in the remaining areas where trash collects and/or dumping occurs).
On November 3, 2007, the results of the more than year-long effort were highlighted at the well-attended “State of the College Creek Watershed Public Forum,” held at Adams Academy at Adams Park/Chesapeake Ecology Center.
Additional parameters yet to be determined:
- Sediment quality
- Bacteria (enterococci)
- Stormwater outfalls, including locations and areas drained (the City of Annapolis may have this information)
- Ongoing tidal water quality monitoring (the State Highway Administration-funded monitoring project ended fall 2007. FOCC volunteers, headed by Dr. Peter Bergstrom, are continuing to monitor water quality; and the US Naval Academy is conducting monitoring near the mouth of creek.
- Ongoing SAV monitoring (2 visits/year, spring and summer)
- Ongoing fish monitoring to assess living shoreline impacts (1 or 2 visits/year)
Examples of planned and ongoing watershed restoration projects:
- Soften the College Creek shoreline to the greatest extent possible
- US Naval Academy is considering a living shoreline project
- Stormwater mitigation projects
- Ongoing invasive species removal and reforestation at Adams Academy/CEC
- Invasive species removal and reforestation initiatives throughout the watershed
- Trash clean-up initiatives