Eyes of Paint Branch

Conservation, Education, and Action for the Paint Branch and Its Watershed

Paint Branch Watershed Management:
Chronology of Government Protection

Paint Branch and all its tributaries upstream of the Capital Beltway were officially designated “Use III,” or Natural Trout Waters (i.e., able to support the propagation and survival of natural trout populations and their associated food organisms), by the state of Maryland
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with Trout Unlimited, designated the Paint Branch watershed upstream of Fairland Road as a “Special Trout Management Area.” These regulations aimed at maximizing protection while maintaining recreational fishing.
Eastern Montgomery County Master Plan approved and adopted with major emphasis on watershed protection. Watershed management, the brown trout fishery, and water supply and distribution systems are the subjects of the first three of seven “major environmental issues” identified. The plan includes provisions to protect headwaters, especially sensitive spawning tributaries from development by down-zoning, stream valley acquisition, and imperviousness limits.
Anacostia Watershed Restoration Agreement signed by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia outlining the initial steps to restore the Anacostia River, of which Paint Branch is a major tributary.
Second Anacostia Watershed Restoration Agreement signed creating a new [artnership including Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, and calling for an Anacostia Watershed Restoration Committee to protect and restore the water quality, ecological integrity, wetlands and forest cover of the Anacostia River System.
A Commitment to Restore Our Home River: A Six-Point Action Plan to Restore the Anacostia River adopted with specific goals and strategies for restoring the Anacostia River system by the turn of the 21st century.
National conservation organization American Rivers lists the Anacostia River as one of the 10 most endangered rivers in the country.
Anacostia River upgraded to “threatened” status by American Rivers
Montgomery County council designates the entire Paint Branch watershed above Fairland road as the Upper Paint Branch Special Protection Area, requiring water quality plans for any land disturbance and limiting impervious surface area
Limited Amendment to Master Plan for Expanded Park Acquisition for Resource Management and Protection of the Paint Branch Watershed approved and adopted, adding 247 acres of new parkland to the Paint Branch Stream Valley Park system in the Good Hope and Gum Springs sub-watersheds.
Zoning text amendment introduced to create an Environmental Overlay Zone for the Upper Paint Branch Special Protection Area to prohibit certain land uses that have the potential to cause environmental damage to the watershed.