Skip Navigation

Middle River Watershed

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


This is a map showing the location of the Middle River watershed along the eastern portion of Baltimore County.

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 such 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. 

This is a photo of sailboats.
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 spread across 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 at 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. The plan also includes management measures for the upland sources and water-dependent facilities, such as marinas. Read and download the executive summary. (PDF)


To participate as a volunteer for the 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 in focused areas of the greater Middle River watershed.

Revised July 27, 2021         


A new website for Baltimore County

We're working to provide you with a better experience, and want your feedback. Learn more about our project and give your feedback.

Follow Clean Green Baltimore County

a heron standing by a lake

Clean Green Baltimore County provides residents and businesses with the latest news and information on county initiatives, services and resources that support sustainable living.

Environmental Reporter

Use the Environmental Reporter Web Application to help the County track private tree plantings, private rain barrel installations and midges.

Did This Page Help?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*