The purpose of this project was to reduce stormwater runoff and prevent erosion in Hickey Run with the goal of improving water quality in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers for the benefit of District residents, visitors, wildlife and the environment.
The Hickey Run project site is located within the northeastern region of the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA), specifically at the intersection of R Street NE and Hickey Lane NE. The site falls within the Hickey Run watershed and receives a large volume of stormwater both from land within the Arboretum and the public right-of-way via R Street NE. The contributing drainage area for this project site is approximately 8.1 acres in size with approximately 2.2 acres of that being impervious cover.
Due to the existing conditions of the site, this project involved the installation of a submerged gravel wetland along the west of Hickey Lane NE, just north of the R Street entrance to the Arboretum to capture and treat stormwater runoff from the existing impervious hardscapes prior to conveyance into the storm sewer system, the Anacostia river and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. These stormwater best management practices called “BMPs” are vegetated systems that mimic the natural environment to reduce stormwater volumes and pollutants for the purpose of restoring our streams and rivers.
A submerged gravel wetland provides the following benefits:
- Reduces stormwater runoff
- Slows stormwater flows
- Removes stormwater pollutants
- Provides habitat for birds, bees, and other pollinators
- Improves air quality
- Reduces air temperatures
By capturing stormwater and by treating the pollutants stormwater carries, a wetland helps protect and restore our streams and rivers.
How is a Submerged Gravel Wetland Maintained?
Routine maintenance is necessary for all stormwater management practices. Routine maintenance for a wetland includes ensuring a dense stand of wetland vegetation at all times, removing dead or diseased vegetation and revegetating as needed, inspection of slopes for evidence of erosion if applicable, cleaning out the inlets to ensure that stormwater can get in, making sure overflows are free and clear of debris so that they can function during larger storm events, inspecting for evidence of erosion throughout the facility and along the adjacent side slopes.
Project Status: This project is now complete.