Two Takes on Stream Restoration
Designers of the North Cypress Branch restoration project planned a series of constructed floodplain wetlands like this one to help slow the stream's flow. Photograph, Jeffrey Brainard
BOB HAHN JR. AND PATTY HINKS live only a few houses away from each other in Severna Park in Anne Arundel County. Both of their back yards share the same, expansive view of North Cypress Branch and the stream restoration project completed there in 2013. But they hold very different views about the project's results.
"I think it's a good thing if the research pans out and it helps the Bay," says Hahn on a recent sunny afternoon on his back lawn, overlooking the restored channel. He grew up nearby and has good memories of spending time down by the stream years before the restoration project. But he also likes the new version and the wider space that the project created.
"It's real nice here in the summertime," he says, "and I think it's improved my property value."
But to Hinks, the beauty and privacy of the forested creek were what drew her to buy her house 30 years ago. "Now it's the Great Lakes," she says, referring to the wide, shallow pools the restoration created. "I wish they would have experimented somewhere else, because there was a lot of acreage [of trees] that they had to take out here."