Since 1997, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. has provided permitting expertise and guidance, compliance services, natural resource studies, and surveys for this dynamic and expansive mixed-use development and popular gathering space outside D.C. National Harbor is home to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, an MGM casino, shops, and a marina.

National Harbor’s Capital Wheel, which stands 180’ tall and provides views of the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capital, Alexandria, and Prince George’s County from its 42 gondolas, is a shoreline landmark, as is The Awakening, a 72’ long sculpture by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. of a giant emerging from the shoreline.

The Challenge

Provide forward-thinking guidance and creative problem solving for this complex site on the Potomac River. Address all natural resource aspects of the dynamic land and shoreline development process

Our Solution

Since 1997, WSSI has worked closely with project proponents to define and anticipate the natural resource issues and opportunities at the National Harbor development. From wetland delineation through submerged aquatic vegetation surveys, habitat development, and complex regulatory processes, we have worked with the developer and regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Maryland Board of Public Works to find fresh solutions that tailor National Harbor for the user experience.

Our work has included:

  • Incorporating beach habitat creation and integration of tidal marsh in the site plan to provide compensatory mitigation for impacts along with an alternative to traditional bulkheads, an innovative concept at the time.
  • Permit modifications and additional studies to address project changes, including marina re-design, installation of the Capital Wheel, installation of The Awakening, and modifications to provide for fire and rescue boats needed on-site.
  • Participation in “reef ball” habitat planning and installation to support the local aquatic community.
  • Site monitoring to document compliance with environmental regulatory requirements.
Project Facts
  • Owner
    The Peterson Companies
  • Location
    Prince George's, MD
  • Size
    528 acres
  • Christie Blevins

    Gainesville, VA

  • Ben Rosner

    Gainesville, VA