Millville By The Sea Completes Stream Restoration Plan; Healthy Flora & Fauna Benefit from Retained Nutrient Enrichment

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Millville by the Sea has begun a stream restoration plan that will eventually affect much of the 2-miles of Beaver Dam stream along and within its buffers. The first 1,000 feet of this restoration project has been completed on a ditch near the Beaver Dam stream. This ditch had been allowed to grow fetid and choked with non-native plants. The nutrients from the runoff added stress on the bay and increased the frequency of algae near the point of discharge. Its main environmental feature will be a trail and stream system that follows the Beaver Dam stream for over two miles. While many would consider a development to be a bigger negative impact than farm fields, the science of storm water management helps to reduce the impacts by limiting runoff, channeling it into infiltration ponds, and eliminating the excess sediment that would otherwise have choked the stream with mud and debris. The nutrient loads are greatly reduced, and the water that enters the bay is significantly cleaner. This demonstration project was a group effort that included input from the Department of Natural Resources, the Beaver Dam Tax Ditch Authority, JCM Environmental, and the developers of Millville by the Sea.

Before there was a Millville, an Ocean View, a Sussex County, (and even before there was a Delaware), a small stream meandered through what is now the area between Route 26 and the Assawoman Bay. Beaver Dam Creek drained much of the area that is now planned as "Millville by the Sea," a master planned community in the Town of Millville, Delaware. Over the years, farmers and state agencies straightened and deepened the little stream until it became a deep ditch. With its nearly vertical sides and overgrown banks, Beaver Dam Tax Ditch carried rain water, sediment, and agricultural runoff from the farmer's fields and deposited it into the Little Assawoman Bay. The nutrients from the runoff added stress on the bay and increased the frequency of algae near the point of discharge. Every 30 years or so, the local tax ditch authority would "dip out" the ditch, scraping out the sides and bottom of the tax ditch to improve the flow of water off the fields and into the bay. Although this management practice improved drainage, it also increased the quantities of nutrients that contributed stress on the Little Assawoman.

Fast forward to 2008; a new plan is in the works for the areas drained by the Beaver Dam stream. Millville by the Sea is a 3,000 home community on over 700 acres along Route 17. Its main environmental feature will be a trail and stream system that follows the Beaver Dam stream for over two miles. While many would consider a development to be a bigger negative impact than farm fields, the science of storm water management helps to reduce the impacts by limiting runoff, channeling it into infiltration ponds, and eliminating the excess sediment that would otherwise have choked the stream with mud and debris. The nutrient loads are greatly reduced, and the water that enters the bay is significantly cleaner.

As part of its' development plan, Millville by the Sea has begun a stream restoration plan that will eventually affect much of the 2-miles of Beaver Dam stream along and within its buffers. The first 1,000 feet of this restoration project has been completed on a ditch near the Beaver Dam stream. This ditch had been allowed to grow fetid and choked with non-native plants. This demonstration project was a group effort that included input from the Department of Natural Resources, the Beaver Dam Tax Ditch Authority, JCM Environmental, and the developers of Millville by the Sea. In this area, a 10' wide ditch was widened to 100', with designed flood plain, pools, a meandering watercourse, and areas that will be shaded by native plants and trees. The work was completed last fall, and in only a few short months, there are already signs that fauna have returned to the area with birds, fish, and amphibians reclaiming that stretch of streambed.

To visit the demonstration project, take Route 17 from Route 26 to a left on Burbage Road. Take the first right turn onto Substation Road and follow it to the new traffic circle in the new phase of Millville by the Sea. Just a short distance beyond is a small bridge over the newly constructed streambed. Visitors may follow the stream and adjoining walking path through the neighborhood to the outfall into the large lake that the developers have reclaimed from an old borrow pit. The lake serves as a filter, storage, and sediment pond for all of the runoff from this part of the community. This lake cleanses the water before sending on down the Beaver Dam stream to the bay.

For more information, visit: Millville By The Sea

Contact: Brigit Taylor
Sales Manager, Millville By The Sea
Broker DE and MD
302-539-2888 - office, 443-622-2069 - cell

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Brigit Taylor

Bruce Borcz
Borcz:Dixon
410-451-6660 ext. 16
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