Upper Monocacy River
Watershed Restoration
Action Strategy


The Upper Monocacy River Watershed is part of the Potomac River Watershed and encompasses approximately 126,107 acres in Frederick County. Parts of the Upper Monocacy River Watershed are also located in Carroll County, MD and Adams County, PA. The area located within Frederick County is the main focus of this Watershed Restoration Action Strategy. The Watershed is ranked in the stateís Clean Water Action Plan as a "Priority Category 1 and Select Category 3 Watershed".

In the conduct of this WRAS, Frederick Countyís Division of Public Works worked closely with Marylandís Department of Natural Resources on a two part process. During the first step, DNR staff sampled and analyzed base flow nutrient concentrations and loading rates, gathered and analyzed existing information to develop a Watershed Characterization, field assessed selected stream corridors in the six subwatersheds of the Upper Monocacy, and surveyed fish and aquatic invertebrate communities. During the second part, the County organized an Upper Monocacy WRAS Steering Committee comprised of 44 representatives from 30 organizations and interest groups. The Steering Committee reviewed DNR data, organized six working groups to formulate goals and objectives, and reached out to owners of stream frontage through four public meetings. The purpose of the meetings was to share WRAS findings and learn about landowner concerns.

Examination of stream corridor conditions on approximately 130 miles of stream, Synoptic Survey data, and the Watershed Characterization resulted in the identification of 38 priority sites for recommended action that were expanded further during Steering Committee workshops and public meetings. As a result of this collaborative process, WRAS goals were adopted in five topical areas along with specific subwatershed strategies. Detailed Education and Outreach and Natural Resource Management Objectives accompanied by related nutrient reductions were developed. Also identified were needs for capacity building in the areas of organizational capacity, watershed management capacity, development capacity, and protection capacity. In addition, four program change initiatives were recommended.

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