First Mine Run



Ecotone identified a degraded reach of First Mine Run, which is fairly typical of streams in Baltimore County. Bank erosion rates were very high, the banks were steep and actively eroding, and the stream was physically disconnected from its floodplain. Ecotone worked with the partners, including the landowners, to secure restoration funding in 2015. Goals for the project included reducing streambank erosion, reconnecting the floodplain to the stream, improving wildlife habitat, and increasing biodiversity along the riparian corridor of First Mine Run.

Project Description

Ecotone used this project to challenge the status quo by constraining the use of imported material only materials found on-site, meaning no imported gravel or rock was incorporated into the design. This became an example of Ecotone’s Less is More approach to ecological restoration, incorporating and executing on the principles of sustainable design. In order to create zero import, sod was grown on the site for use as vegetative bank stabilization, gravel was screened from the floodplain, and trees and logs were repurposed into “toe wood”, which protects the toe of the new streambanks from accelerated erosion.


  • Less is More – zero import of rock and other material
  • Trout habitat improvement
  • Floodplain reconnection
  • Removal of legacy sediment from floodplain


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Baltimore County

Gunpowder River

Design/Build, Earth Flora Strategies,
Form & Function, Terra Firma


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“Being a minority Site & Utility Contractor, Comer Construction, Inc. has had the opportunity to bid with and work alongside Ecotone on quite a few Capital projects – it’s always a pleasure to know that we’re working with professionals. Ecotone has hired and trained some of the best in the business to make up one of Maryland’s finest ecological restoration companies in the industry. Comer Construction, Inc. has and will always enjoy working alongside Ecotone – we will never hesitate to propose bids with them on any project that they request our services for because of their great communication, organization, efficiency, and ability to keep projects on-time and on-budget.”

Burt Miller, Estimator, Project Manager & Purchasing Agent, Comer Construction, Inc.