June 7th Community Meeting

Understanding Rock Creek - sponsored by Restore Rock Creek and AA County Department of Public Works. Presentation by:   CH2MHill and Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

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Presentation Covers

•      Overview of estuarine processes
•      Water quality and ecosystem condition in Rock Creek from prior studies
•      Background on aerators (bubblers)
•      Purpose and plans for Summer 2012 Monitoring

Contact us at restorerc@gmail.com or on Facebook if you have questions.




Welcome to Restore Rock Creek

RestoreRockCreek.org, founded in 2009, is a new watershed organization that is building on the previous efforts of the Rock Creek Citizens Environmental Committee.

Our focus is improving the water quality on Rock Creek through an understanding of what impacts our water and developing thoughtful approaches to minimizing the elements that are harmful to our creek.




Restore Rock Creek with support from Koolhof Earth, Maryland Yacht Club (MYC) and several of the local Marina's has been - Accepted into Marylanders Grow Oysters. To learn about the program email restorerc@gmail.com and we will fill you in on the what's involved.

70 cages were distributed this fall as a test. Low salinity may impact the survival of the oyster spat this year so we decided to reduce the number of cages from over 400 to 70 this year.

Tell your neighbors - Download and print a flyer


Rock Creek of Pasadena, MD

Rock Creek is a tidal creek and a tributary of the Patapsco River. It had pristine headwaters until 1978 when major development started within its watershed. There have been some improvements to the water quality over the years but it is still closed to swimming from the head waters to the sewage pumping station at Valley Road, Wall Cove and White Cove.



Stormwater runoff is one of the biggest threat to water quality in the Rock Creek watershed.

What is stormwater runoff? It is polluted water that washes down the streets and into gutters and stormdrains, directly into the local stream, river, or harbor. This water carries high levels of sediment, oil, toxins and other pollutants from construction, industrial and municipal sites into our waterways.

Facts to know:

  • more impervious surface (pavement, roofs, etc.) = more polluted runoff.
  • stormwater runs UNTREATED into our streams, rivers, and harbor.

Sewage and Septic Tanks

Faulty septic tanks and sewage spills are widely believed to be a major source of pollution in Rock Creek. Roughly 50% of the land area that sends water to Rock Creek has a county sewage system and the other half is serviced by septic tanks. Much of the area was originally developed before there were building codes and many of the septic systems are old (see watershed maps).

The county’s sanitary sewer system was built adjacent to several of the fresh water streams that feed the creek (see watershed maps). Watershed advocates walked the county sanitary sewer line during the rainstorm that lead to the very high tides and flooding in March 2010 and detected no sewage smell along the lines. The smell of sewage was documented in the 2009 AA County sponsored study Targeted Biological Assessment of Streams in the Patapsco Tidal and Bodkin Creek Watersheds

Keeping storm water out of the storm drain system reduces the likelihood of sewage spills from the county’s system. If rainwater can be process through tree’s and vegetation or infiltrated into the ground it’s beneficial for the Rock Creek watershed.

Proper maintenance of septic systems by homeowners is also critical for the Rock Creek watershed

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Email caryncan@restorerockcreek.org to join the mailing list