October 17, 2016
A devastating flood surged through Ellicott City's historic district a month and a half ago, destroying homes and businesses, flushing cars into the Patapsco River, toppling many trees and wiping away herbaceous plants along its course. It is hard to assign a value to what was lost. Not only are some people without their possessions, but they are without their livelihoods. Vegetation lost to the flood will no longer support the sediment banks with their roots, causing more to erosion and more sediment downstream. The Bloede Dam deconstruction was delayed, which in turn impedes the river's health, as aquatic lifeforms cannot travel upstream to proliferate. Because of the severity of the flood, restoration efforts are as crucial as ever in ensuring the sustainability of the river, as well as sharing knowledge about what caused the cataclysm and what efforts there are to mitigate stormwater's impact. In search of answers, I interviewed Lori Lilly, a person who works closely with our local environment to reduce the severity of stormwater impacts to our ecosystems.