Stream group aims to protect troubled waters in Carroll Co.

January 31, 2001|By Jamie Manfuso | Jamie Manfuso,SUN STAFF

Heartened by volunteer efforts to help restore Little Pipe Creek near Union Bridge, a group of Carroll residents is joining forces to protect the county's other 600 miles of streams.

Called The Friends of Carroll County Streams, the group's plans include restoration projects and education. Organizers said the group also might play an advocacy role in environmental issues.

The group will hold its first public meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Bear Branch Nature Center near Westminster.

A crew of 100 volunteers helped plant trees along Little Pipe Creek, part of a much larger effort to restore the quality of the streamand reconfigure it to its original meandering route. Their enthusiasm was so strong after that November outing, a group of them decided to expand the effort across the county.

"I was just delighted and astonished, frankly, that so many people turned out," said Sher Horosko, a Westminster resident and one of the founders.

Horosko said the group would look to organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for expert counsel and project funding. It also hopes to get support from the county.

In September, the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a comprehensive study of the state's small and medium-size streams. It found almost half of them were in poor health and that the rest show signs of ecosystem stress.

Development was fingered as the biggest cause of stream degradation. Impervious surfaces, such as roads, increase the runoff that can wash away stream banks and destroy animal habitat.

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