Middle River Watershed
The Middle River watershed covers a 12 square-mile area in urban and suburban portions of southeastern Baltimore County and includes the Lockheed Martin Aviation complex, one of the largest facilities on the East Coast. Middle River is a wide, shallow tidal estuary that extends southeastward approximately four miles from Eastern Boulevard in Baltimore County before entering the Chesapeake Bay. This watershed has only nine miles of stream channels and is mostly recognized for its tidal waterways including Hopkins Creek, Norman Creek, Frog Mortar Creek, Galloway Creek and Sue Creek.
The watershed consists primarily of older residential developments intermixed with commercial and industrial areas. Large forested tracts of land remain interspersed throughout the entire watershed and relatively rural lands occupy many locations in the lower portions of the watershed surrounding the mouth of the River. The major communities in this watershed include Middle River, Essex and Bowleys Quarters. The Middle River area has been designated as one of nine “renaissance areas” under the Baltimore County Renaissance Redevelopment Pilot Program that targets underused or neglected parcels of land in older communities for high-quality re-development.
Recreational opportunities abound along
Baltimore County's waterfront.
This watershed is the County’s single largest destination for recreational boaters and is home to numerous marinas and waterfront restaurants. In addition, there are a multitude of public access points at one of the many County waterfront parks including Wilson Point Park, Hawthorne Park, Turkey Point Park and Sue Creek Park.
Baltimore County has completed numerous dredging and water quality improvement projects in this watershed, including a stream restoration and water quality retrofit project at the Fields of Renaissance Park.
Small Watershed Action Plan
A small watershed action plan (SWAP) identifies strategies to bring a small watershed into compliance with water quality standards. Strategies go beyond traditional government capital projects and include actions in partnership with local watershed associations, citizen awareness campaigns and volunteer activities. Download this fact sheet to learn more about the SWAP process (PDF).
- Volume 1 (PDF) outlines the actions identified as part of the strategy
- Volume 2 (PDF) contains the results of the field and geographic information systems data assessments
Watershed Management Plan
The Middle River Watershed Management Plan was completed in March 2001. The plan includes a model of stormwater runoff pollution from the watershed as well as a model of the estuary focusing on flushing rates, nutrients and metal contamination. Management measures for the upland sources and water-dependent facilities, such as marinas, are also included. Read and download the executive summary. (PDF)
To participate as a volunteer for Middle River watershed, contact the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC). GVC is the lead agency for the Clear Creeks Project citizen-based initiative to restore water quality in the rivers and creeks throughout Middle River and Tidal Gunpowder watersheds.
Revised June 17, 2015
Revised April 6, 2016