Restoring 24 Acres – Principio Restoration Project
Eliminating erosion and nutrient/sediment pollution
Eliminating erosion and nutrient/sediment pollutionCecil Land Trust is working on a cooperative project to restore 24 acres of riparian buffer around Principio Creek. The model for the Principio Restoration Project was developed over 20 years ago in a restoration project involving Basin Run. Twelve acres of riparian buffer were reforested to improve habitat for trout reproduction on a dairy farm at West Nottingham, Cecil County.
The partnership that developed and executed the Basin Run project was led by the non-profit, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Other partners included: the farm owners, Cecil Soil Conservation, the Octoraro Watershed Association and West Nottingham Academy. Funding was provided by Cecil County’s Forest Mitigation Fund with a design by Landstudies.
CLT has continued to monitor the Basin Run Project. The results have been excellent. The trout have been reproducing on their own and in 2004, water quality in this portion of Basin Run was raised to a tier 2.
The Principio Restoration Project will involve CLT, the Horst Brothers Dairy Farm, Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP), the Cecil County Department of Public Works and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The project will restore and reforest the creek banks to eliminate erosion and nutrient/sediment pollution. The project involves 24 acres of riparian buffer. Cecil County will receive the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) credits and CLT will continue to work with the Horst Brothers to permanently protect their farm.
The new wrinkle to the Principio Restoration Project is the “pay for performance” concept. Because the project is front funded by EIP, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund will not pay for the project until it is shown to be effective. If the Principio Project is as successful as the earlier Basin Run Project, Cecil County will end up with improved water quality going into the Chesapeake Bay and may have an additional naturally reproducing trout stream.