Why ECO: Chesapeake Bay

Protecting a Resource so it Endures: The Chesapeake Bay Watershed

homeowner_why ECO_ChesapeakeAt 64,299 square miles, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is the largest and most diverse of the 130 estuaries in the United States, encompassing much of Virginia and Maryland, as well as parts of West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and the entire District of Columbia. It is home to over 3,600 species of plants and animals as well as more than 17 million residents. Threading through the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are more than 100,000 streams and rivers, all of which feed into the Chesapeake Bay. The U.S. Congress has deemed it "a national treasure and a resource of worldwide significance."

EP Henry not only works with clients throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, we call the region home, too. As a locally-based company, we're acutely aware of the need for sustainable, innovative solutions to counteract the environmental pressures that threaten our area's greatest natural resource.

With this in mind, EP Henry works closely with architects, construction professionals, and homeowners, helping them integrate our ECO™ products into their project plans to ensure the most environmentally, economically, and aesthetically sound results possible.

What are Impervious Surfaces?

Impervious surfaces are paved or hardened surfaces that don't allow water to pass through. Asphalt roads, rooftops, and parking lots are all impervious surfaces. As more land is covered by impervious surfaces, more polluted runoff enters our rivers, streams, and ultimately the Bay.

How are Impervious Surfaces a Pressure on the Bay?

Impervious surfaces that replace natural, vegetated areas don't allow precipitation to soak into the soil. Instead, water runs off the hardened surfaces and into sewers, rivers, streams, and the Bay. As water runs across impervioussurfaces, it picks up pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus, and chemical contaminants that can harm aquatic life and our drinking water supply.

What Can We Do as Homeowners?

There are a variety of products and best practices out there that can help solve the challenges of protecting this important watershed. As concerns about water quality and stormwater management grow, counties, townships, builders, and concerned citizens all across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are turning to using permeable interlocking concrete pavement systems (PICPs) ­- like EP Henry's ECO™ Permeable Pavers - in new and retrofit construction projects.

How Can Using EP Henry ECO™ Permeable Pavers Help?

EP Henry ECO Permeable Pavers...

  • allow rainwater to naturally filter and return to the ground instead of collecting pollutants and debris while flowing into sewers, local streams, and waterways.
  • permit water absorption into the soil, which reduces run-off flooding and erosion.
  • lessen the impact and stress on existing local storm sewer systems through reduced peak discharges.
  • provide a reservoir or percolation field for surface water to re-enter ground aquifers.
  • are winter-friendly…snow melt drains via paver joints, reducing slippery, icy surfaces and the need for harsh deicing chemicals.

Maryland Park Puts EP Henry ECO Permeable Pavers to Work Protecting Their Piece of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Located on a parcel of pristine Maryland farmland totaling almost 300 acres in size, Centreville's Whitemarsh Park is comprised of woodlands and meadows that are home to plants and animals indigenous to the Eastern Shore region. When planning the recently opened park, Queen Anne's County officials carefully considered the delicate balance of the local environment, as well as the park's role within the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Their goal was to take these factors into account through every phase of development in order to ensure Whitemarsh Park could continue to be enjoyed by generations of visitors for many years to come. The County Board of Commissioners placed great emphasis on preserving the surrounding environs while educating the public about the importance and benefits of sustainable development.

After lengthy consideration and study, pervious surfaces - including permeable interlocking concrete pavers - were selected for use in the construction of parking areas and walkways throughout the site. EP Henry ECO Permeable Pavers played a significant role in making the park's sustainability goals a reality.