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Small Watershed Action Plans

Watershed Management Program
Phone: 410-887-5683
Fax: 410-887-4804

View the status of the SWAPs progress.
This map shows the delineations for the
Small Watershed Action Plans in Baltimore County.
This map can be downloaded and printed.

A Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP) is both an assessment of current conditions, and a strategy that outlines how we will clean up our streams and rivers, to contribute healthier water to the Chesapeake Bay. SWAPs are created through partnerships between community members, local experts, and EPS.

The SWAPs will:

  • Assess existing conditions within the watershed
  • Identify potential sources of pollution sources
  • Examine and prioritize opportunities for environmental restoration and protection
  • Determine potential costs for implementation
  • Outline a plan, and set measurable goals for actions to reduce pollution

Who participates in the SWAP process?

Residents, businesses, institutions, community associations, local watershed/environmental organizations and government agencies are all necessary to build a successful plan. The process is guided by a diverse steering committee, with public meetings and comment periods to generate input from the greater community. Upon completion of the plan, there will be many opportunities for residents and community groups to help implement the recommended actions—in your own yard, or on a site nearby.

What actions can we take to improve our streams?

  • Tree plantings in open areas, along streets, and in yards
  • Expanding forested areas along streams (stream buffers)
  • Disconnection of downspouts to keep roof water out of storm drains
  • Plant rain gardens and hooking up rain barrels for watering
  • New and/or upgraded stormwater management facilities
  • Stream cleanups and stream restoration projects
  • Education and outreach on many issues related to water quality
    • Proper lawn care education (fertilizer reduction, watering techniques)
    • Community awareness about stormwater and pet waste disposal
    • Trash and litter awareness

The watersheds of the County have been divided into smaller portions to provide tailor-made plans and strategies for each SWAP. Each SWAP area has been assigned a letter identifier which corresponds to the letters displayed on the map near the top of this page. Below is a list of all the SWAP areas organized by the watershed they are a part of.

Back River

  • Tidal Back River (E)
  • Upper Back River (L)

Baltimore Harbor

  • Baltimore Harbor (D)

Bird River

  • Bird River (K)

Deer Creek

  • Deer Creek (U)

Gunpowder River

  • Middle River/Tidal Gunpowder River (F)

Gwynns Falls

  • Middle Gwynns Falls (C)
  • Upper Gwynns Falls (V)

Jones Falls

  • Lower Jones Falls (H)
  • Northeastern Jones Falls (M)
  • Upper Jones Falls (G)

Liberty Reservoir

  • Liberty Reservoir (S)

Little Gunpowder Falls

  • Little Gunpowder Falls (P) - to be completed in 2016, currently in progress

Loch Raven Reservoir

  • Beaverdam Run, Baisman Run, and Oregon Branch (I)
  • Loch Raven East (R)
  • Loch Raven North (X)
  • Loch Raven West (W) - to be completed in 2016, currently in progress
  • Loch Raven Urban (O) - to be completed in 2017
    • Spring Branch (Portion of SWAP area O)

Lower Gunpowder Falls

  • Lower Gunpowder Falls - Rural (Q) - to be completed in 2017
  • Lower Gunpowder Falls - Urban (N)

Middle River

  • Middle River-Tidal Gunpowder River (F)

Patapsco River

  • Lower Patapsco River (A)
  • Upper Patapsco River (B) - to be completed in 2016, currently in progress

Prettyboy Reservoir

  • Prettyboy Reservoir (T)

How Can I Get Involved?

To volunteer for SWAP activities, contact your local watershed association or the
Watershed Management and Monitoring section of EPS

Phone: 410-887-5683
Fax: 410-887-4804


Revised June 28, 2016        

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