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Stepping Towards Bay Restoration, Together

The golden morning in Havre de Grace blew in brisk and clear with autumn on the breeze. A small group gathered at Concord Point for the launch of the Bay Paddle event. Every masked face was turned towards the pastor whose opening quote warmed the crisp air. “Take one step in the direction of your dreams, and watch the universe perform miracles to help you. -Alexandra Domelle,” he recited.

All of us who were congregated by the water that September day share a collective dream of restoring the Chesapeake Bay to the pristine, wild estuary it once was. Chris Hopkinson and the Bay Paddle team were taking a step (or rather a paddle) in the direction of that shared dream by paddling the length of the Chesapeake Bay to raise money and awareness for oyster restoration. Underwood & Associates takes steps towards Bay restoration by designing and building stream and stormwater restoration projects and living shorelines.

The donation Underwood & Associates made to this event gave us “Bay Paddle Supporter” status, but we were already supporters of this bold statement towards Bay restoration, especially because the launch took place at the site of one of our most recent restoration projects. The Havre de Grace stormwater management and wetland enhancement project is a multi-phase ecological restoration project along the city’s promenade at Concord Point. It consists of a Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC), a dry stream channel, and a living shoreline within a wetland cove. This creative blend of restoration practices provides many ecosystem services, such as reducing nutrient and sediment loads entering the Bay, groundwater recharge, enhancing habitat, reducing flooding, and mitigating climate change.

To clean up the Bay, we must not only take steps on our own, but clasp hands (figuratively…ahem, COVID) and leap forward together. There are countless non-profits, businesses, and governmental organizations working towards the vision of a saved Chesapeake Bay in their own ways. We are stronger when we acknowledge and support one another as we steadily march in the direction of our dream. Now if the universe could keep those miracles coming…


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