mattawoman creek
mattawoman creek

Connectivity is the Key to Success

December 17, 2019

Circa 1608, as per the maps of Captain John Smith, Mattawoman Creek, or Mataughquamend in Algonquin, translates to “where one goes pleasantly.” Thanks to current restoration efforts, that statement holds true today. The Mattawoman Creek Mitigation Site (MCMS) is a stream and wetland mitigation bank site located in Pomfret, Charles County, Maryland. The MCMS includes approximately 80 acres of forested freshwater wetland and upland habitat that has been restored, created, enhanced or preserved. This land is highlighted by 4,000 linear feet of stream restoration. The importance of this watershed is well documented. According to the Maryland Division of Natural Resources, the Mattawoman estuary is one of the most productive sampled tributaries for migratory fish. A key stream restoration objective was to restore connectivity between the stream and adjacent floodplain wetlands.

Due to unusually wet conditions during construction, the completion of grading activities and stream construction was particularly challenging. The floodplain wetlands were graded with large depressions intended to retain out-of-bank flow and promote infiltration. Grading included hummock-hollow microtopography which presented a challenge for the selection and distribution of tree and shrub species across the site. The hollow areas were generally planted with primarily obligate wetland species, while hummock areas were generally planted with species that could tolerate less saturated conditions. A total of 29,101 trees and shrubs were planted at the site.

Over the last 10 years, Pinelands Nursery and GreenVest have developed a great partnership. Bobby Miller from Greenvest added his thoughts about the realtionship, “Pinelands Nursery provides GreenVest with a diverse selection of native wetland plants and delivers healthy and robust tree and shrub species for restoration projects. Pinelands knowledge and recommendations of native plant species was useful in selecting the best species for the Mattawoman Creek Mitigation Site. Pinelands’ friendly and enthusiastic staff is always responsive and accommodating all of our project-specific needs.”

For more information about Mattawoman Creek, please visit cbf.org. This article will be published in the Pineland Nursery catalog in 2020.

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