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Bird River Watershed

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


This map shows the location of the Bird River watershed.

The Bird River watershed is located in Eastern Baltimore County and encompasses the communities of White Marsh, Perry Hall and Chase. The watershed’s major tributary, White Marsh Run, begins at Harford Road and I-695 and continues east, parallel to MD Route 43; it enters Bird River just east of US Route 40 at Ebenezer Road. Other tributaries include Honeygo Run and Windlass Run. The tidal portion of Bird River is about 20,000 linear feet that includes Bird River and Railroad Creek and the waterfront communities of Harewood Park, Loreley Beach, Bird River Beach and Bird River Grove.

This watershed includes one of the original designated growth areas of Baltimore County: White Marsh. Under a managed growth plan established in 1983 to protect areas outside the urban-rural demarcation line (URDL) and the reservoir watersheds in Northern Baltimore County, the area was targeted for intensive residential, commercial and industrial development. Today, clusters of financial, insurance and health care operations, light manufacturing, technology and distribution surround a vibrant town center that includes the White Marsh Mall and The Avenue, a main street retail and entertainment center.

The area also boasts the recently refurbished Honeygo Run Regional Park. This 149-acre stream valley park features ball diamonds, athletic fields, an indoor recreation center, playgrounds, picnic pavilions and a wooded trail system for hiking and biking. In addition, the watershed is home to the Days Cove area of Gunpowder Falls State Park which features hiking, biking, fishing, boating and wildlife viewing, as well as an environmental education center.

The Bird River watershed was also targeted for the County’s first comprehensive watershed plan, which was completed in 1995. To date, over five miles of stream restoration have been completed on the main stem and tributaries of White Marsh Run and Honeygo Run. In addition, numerous water quality retrofit projects have been implemented in this watershed as well as the dredging of Bird River and Railroad Creek.

Small Watershed Action Plan

A small watershed action plan (SWAP) has been developed for the Bird River watershed. This planning area includes the communities of White Marsh, Perry Hall and Chase. 

  • Volume 1 (PDF) outlines the actions identified as part of the strategy
  • Volume 2 (PDF) contains the results of the field and GIS data assessments

Watershed Management Plan

The Bird River Watershed Management Plan was completed in February of 1995. The executive summary includes an evaluation and discussion of the water quality problems and an identification of stream based and source based water quality control measures. Download the executive summary (PDF).

Volunteer Activities

To participate as a volunteer for the Bird River watershed, contact the Gunpowder Valley Conservatory (GVC). GVC is the lead agency for the Clear Creeks Project, a citizen-based initiative to restore water quality in the rivers and creeks in focused areas of the greater Gunpowder River basin. 


Revised June 28, 2021         


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