Since 2002, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. has provided continuity and innovation in Clean Water Act permitting services for the ongoing development of the 2,000-acre Potomac Shores mixed-use development that features preserved forests and open space along two miles of river frontage. While project owners and engineers have changed, WSSI has remained a constant, working through more than 30 different wetland and stream impact permit applications and modifications, as well as the related investigations, studies, and inspections that have kept the project moving forward.

The Challenge

This robust multi-faceted and complex mixed-use development along two miles Potomac River shoreline has required a variety of studies, drawing on all of WSSI’s natural resource services. Thoughtful planning, careful project management, and diligent monitoring have been critical for the siting and construction of an array of community features and amenities, including the extensive road and utility network, the town center and other commercial areas, a fire and rescue station, three schools, extensive trails, a fishing pier, a sports complex, a signature golf course, a proposed marina, and a future Virginia Railway Express station, as well as an extension of Potomac Shores Parkway to U.S. Route 1. Project complexity has been increased by changes in project owners and engineers over the last two decades.

Our Solution

From endangered species studies, wetland delineations, and cultural resources evaluations, through stream restoration, monitoring, and permit compliance, we have guided the project through evolving permitting challenges as development progressed from initial planning stages through plan modifications, expansions, and construction. With bald eagles on the project site, we have conducted active nest studies and surveys annually since 2009 as required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure ongoing construction is not adversely affecting the protected species.

We have navigated dozens of permit applications and modifications to date, including federal and state Individual Permits, Nationwide Permits, and Regional Permits, along with all related investigations and studies, to ensure that natural and cultural resources within the project site are protected in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements.

To satisfy Clean Water Act permit requirements, we identified and assessed 47 stream reaches within six different watersheds and revisited these streams every three years over a 15-year period to monitor the watersheds during development. We also designed and restored on-site stream channels and completed streamflow assessments and determined the extent of Resource Protection Area present to meet local Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance requirements.