Living Shoreline Project Prompts Two Warnings About Interaction

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The living shoreline project aims to provide stormwater management in Havre de Grace. (Elizabeth Janney/Patch)

HAVRE DE GRACE, MD — As the initial phase of the living shoreline project nears completion in Havre de Grace, city officials are encouraging people to leave it in place and avoid feeding wildlife.

"It’s developing quickly, but it is not well established yet," Councilman David Martin said of the shoreline at the Tourism Advisory Board's July 20 meeting, where one member said children were throwing rocks from it.

"Parents should not really have their children throwing rocks into that area," Martin said. "It’s going to come down to education and not just of the children but of the parents as well."

The shoreline is designed to be similar to the concept near the Promenade, he said. It will provide stormwater management and include a kayak launching area as well, Martin said.

"It's got to be a protected area," Martin said.

Despite what the living shoreline looks like, "it’s actually not a beach,” Havre de Grace Director of Economic Development and Tourism Bridgette Johnson said. “There is no tree or no rock that hasn't been planned to be put there."

The sand is part of a filtration system, Johnson said. Rain goes into a hill, then into a pond and trees then "sand is the third step, so hopefully the water is clean by the time it gets to the bay," Johnson said. "It’s a project that is all about the water, the Chesapeake Bay, the environment."

Elizabeth Janney/Patch.

Signs are in place alerting citizens to the living shoreline project, stating construction began June 13 and will result in closure of certain spots like Jean Roberts Park.

Elizabeth Janney/Patch.
Elizabeth Janney/Patch.

More signs may be needed to educate the public about the project so they understand its purpose, which is to filter stormwater, tourism advisory board members agreed.

First Phase Nears Completion, Prompts Wildlife Warning

The first part of the project spans the shoreline from Tidewater Grille to Jean Roberts Park, according to the city's public works director.

"The next part of the living shoreline is to be done in the area from Jean Roberts Park north up to the Havre de Grace marina," Director of Public Works EJ Millisor said at the most recent City Council meeting. "Before we start this section, we're working with DNR to improve the boat ramp before awarding the construction contract."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already approved the permits, he said. Once the contract is awarded for the boat ramp construction, "we will proceed with creating living shoreline in that area to the north," Millisor said. "We're waiting for the soil to settle" before planting, he added.

Gov. Larry Hogan is among those who have scoped out the living shoreline recently in its beginning stages. People are not the only ones, officials said.

"Many of you have noticed wild animals — specifically, geese — that love our new living shoreline," Millisor told the City Council.

Elizabeth Janney/Patch.

"As the geese population grows along the shoreline and our citizens come to enjoy the living shoreline," Millisor said, "we need to be aware of city ordinance number 867 that states it is unlawful to feed any waterfowl or wildlife in any park lands or waterways publicly owned, leased or operated by and within the city."

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