• Maryland Eastern Shore Nitrogen Reduction Project

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    PHI provided substantial funding for nitrogen-reduction projects along Maryland's Eastern Shore in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Forest Trends and the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy. A portion of these funds was used to install new water control structures in ditches on Collier Farm in Maryland’s Caroline County. Much of the agricultural land on the Delmarva Peninsula has been historically trenched to provide improved drainage. Unfortunately, these ditches can act as conduits for nutrient-laden runoff, which contributes to the degradation of the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Water control structures placed in these ditches have been shown to be highly effective at reducing effluent nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations. The structures function like small dams in the waterway, creating a pool behind the structure that facilitates a chemical process for converting nitrate that is dissolved in the water into harmless nitrogen gas.

    Under the oversight of the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, the structures on the Collier Farm were installed in the spring of 2012. The Chesapeake Fund is using a third-party verifier to inspect the maintenance and operation of the water control structures. The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy conducts semi-annual water quality monitoring upstream and downstream of the water control structures to ensure the structures are functioning as intended. This monitoring is ongoing and will be performed for five years.