New Guidance for Restoration of Streams with Associated Wetlands

The Wetlands and Waterways Protection Program, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), is pleased to release “Guidance for Stream Restoration Based on Key Wildlife Habitats: Piedmont and Coastal Plain Streams with Associated Wetlands”. This guidance has been under development for several years with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and was funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency State Wetland Program Development Grants.

This project and resulting guidance arose from a need to better recognize the condition and resources of wetlands in the riparian area adjacent to streams proposed for restoration, particularly for Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) credit. Debate and delays over review and approval for some stream restoration projects has occurred over resource tradeoffs which may occur due to direct construction disturbance and/or increased inundation in the floodplain.

DNR in coordination with MDE has developed a rapid assessment and training modules focusing on characteristics of key wildlife habitats in riparian systems with wetlands. The assessment uses common information collected during wetland delineations.  MDE has also developed training modules for application of the guidance.

This guidance is based on real examples and practices used to minimize tree loss and adverse wetland impacts. Guidance covers all phases of project planning, design, and construction.

This project focuses on sites in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of Maryland. MDE invites practitioners and other interested persons to submit feedback on this guidance and assessment, and any additional recommended practices for reducing tree and forest loss or adverse nontidal wetland impacts for inclusion in future revisions.

Next Steps:

The guidance and assessments will be evaluated for updates and applicability for use in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of Maryland. An updated version is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

For additional information, please contact Ms. Denise Clearwater at




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