(Summary prepared by the Spa Creek Conservancy) 

The Spa Creek Conservancy (SCC) has mobilized a team of professionals for a series of watershed projects to support Spa Creek restoration goals. One of the most significant efforts is to restore mini-watersheds that contribute significant pollutants and sediment to the waterway. 

In the next few months SCC will conduct a watershed assessment in the Hawkins Cove Watershed. The cove has been destroyed over the past few decades and no longer represents a viable recreational or wildlife resource. It is classed as an impaired waterway. Every community in the Cove's watershed is a contributor of polluted stormwater runoff to the cove. 

The Hawkins Cove Watershed Restoration Plan will be closely coupled with the City of Annapolis and the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, and watershed stakeholder communities. The project funders are the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Maryland Department of the Environment. Over the next several months you will see professionals performing land surveys, biological surveys, and various technical assessments of the watershed. The activities will focus on engineering and scientific assessments of the creek to support the design and implementation of future restoration and mitigation work. This will be Phase 1 of the master program.   

The master program planning and development will focus on four key areas: 

  1. Identify and retrofit upland stormwater runoff sources to reduce the volume and mitigate the nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) pollutants and sediment deposition. 
  2. Restore the heavily eroded piped outfall sourced stream channel ravine that contributes tons of damaging sediment to the cove. Without remediation the cove will eventually be filled in and cease to exist. 
  3. Dredge the cove from Truxtun Park to headland and restore a natural living shoreline. Rebuild the marsh and wetland habitats; restore the oyster reef including restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation for a vibrant sustainable fishery. 
  4. Engage the Housing Authority of City of Annapolis (HACA) and all surrounding mini-watershed communities in educational programs and events, and provide recreational access to the cove. For example, rebuild the sediment-destroyed fishing and crabbing pier and provide kayak/canoe access. 

The restoration work will yield many benefits to the community, the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. The stream renewal techniques will significantly reduce the major pollutants reaching the River and Bay as follows: nitrogen up to 74%, phosphorous up to 76%, and sediment 90%+ reduction. The restored cove will filter out toxic heavy metal chemicals, hydrocarbon byproducts, and dangerous bacterial agents.

In addition to the pollutant reductions, the restoration will add and renew vital wildlife habitat and remove invasive nonnative species. A major goal is to restore the cove as a nursery for key fisheries.