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Closing Plenary Session

8:30 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

New Directions for Crediting Pollutant Removal for Stream Restoration Projects
in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Moderator:  Tom Schueler, Chesapeake Stormwater Network
-- Tim Schueler, Hazen
-- Scott Lowe, McCormick Taylor
-- Josh Running, Stantec
-- Lisa Fraley McNeal, Center for Watershed Protection
-- David Wood, CSN

State and local communities have responded to the pollutant reduction requirements for the urban sector of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL by building an increasing number of stream restoration projects across the watershed. Hundreds of miles of restoration projects are now in various stages of planning, design or construction across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 Since the original expert panel concluded in 2013, concerns have been raised across the stream restoration community on how to properly apply, calculate and verify the three protocols. More than 65 expert practitioners from the public and private sectors and the research community have worked together since the summer of 2018 to resolve these key issues. This session will focus on the excellent progress that the four expert groups have made to come to consensus on better methods. 

Tom Schueler will provide general background on how decisions on BMP crediting are made by the states in the Chesapeake Bay partnership, and an up-to-date summary of the decisions made to specifically improve them for stream restoration practices.

Tim Schueler will review the visual indicators and field methods developed to inspect and verify stream restoration projects after their initial construction permits. Each indicator is directly linked to the presumed water quality functions of individual projects over time.

 Scott Lowe will describe the new protocol to credit pollutant reduction for outfall restoration projects. Protocol 5 focuses on both the vertical and lateral erosion that can be prevented within the headwater transition zone.

 Lisa Fraley-McNeal and Josh Running will review some of the key changes in how to apply the prevented sediment protocol, which is now the most widely used stream credit in the Bay watershed. They include: (a) more rigorous field methods, including soil testing (b) incentives for project monitoring, (c) better guidance on calculating appropriate prevented sediment protocol credits, and (d) proposed project limits on maximum bank armoring.

David Wood will summarize the progress made in enhancing protocols 2 and 3 to better capture the pollutant reduction benefits associated with reconnecting a stream to its floodplain reconnection and expanding the hyporheic box. He will highlight the key changes that are expected to affect the stream restoration community going forward.

At the end of the presentation, the audience will get a chance to ask questions of all six speakers.