Little Antietam Creek / Grove Creek Stream Restoration Project
The Little Antietam Creek Watershed is located entirely in Maryland east of Hagerstown. Little Antietam Creek is approximately 10 miles long, with the Little Antietam Creek Watershed covering approximately 25 square miles. Little Antietam Creek has one named tributary, Grove Creek, and several unnamed tributaries. Little Antietam Creek and its tributaries generally flow from east to west, starting in the mountains in South Mountain State Park and flowing west toward Antietam Creek.
This stream restoration project is located near Smithsburg, MD and consisted of the restoration of 500 linear feet of Grove Creek and 2,600 linear feet of Little Antietam Creek. Restoration practices include construction of 1 Rock A Vane, 1 Permeant Stream Crossing, 2 Toe Wood structures, 4 Boulder Revetments, 9 Rock Vanes, 10 Rock cross Vanes, 9 rock J Hook Vanes, 1,380 linear feet of Soil Lifts, establishment of new stream bed and banks, and installation of live stake woody plant materials.
Ecotone utilized a diversion channel, rather than the standard pump-around practice, during the construction of the Little Antietam portion of the project to divert stream water while stabilizing the stream channel. This cost-effective measure allowed for work to progress continuously, rather than having disassemble and reassemble the pumps as the project moved downstream. Furthermore, Ecotone spoke with the landowner and realized that they were interested in recreational angling. Ecotone was then able to replace many of the proposed rock structures with woody material, such as toe wood and log structures, in order to enhance aquatic in-stream habitat.
In future years, the restored portion of Little Antietam Creek and Grove Creek will become an established channel that will be able to sustain high flow events. The configuration of instream restoration will protect existing infrastructure, wildlife habitat, and recreational angling.
Funding for this project was secured through the Washington County Soil Conservation District as part of the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program.
Existing conditions along Little Antietam Creek. The stream exhibited signs of accelerated bank erosion and channel migration.
Construction of a woody riffle along Little Antietam Creek. This will establish stream bed stabilization and provide aquatic in-stream habitat.
View facing downstream of woody riffle along Little Antietam Creek. The use of sod matting on the right bank promotes quick establishment while native deep rooting vegetation secures the graded banks.