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Briers Mill Run
Total Area: 2653 acres (4.14 mi2)
Average Imperviousness: 29%
Population: 26,965
Population Density: 6,448/mi2
Wetlands: 9 acres

Forest Cover: 29.4%
Deciduous: 329.1 acres
Coniferous: 40.7 acres
Mixed: 187.9 acres
Shrub/Scrub: 119.4 acres

Local Watershed Group: Friends of Briers Mill Run


Briers Mill Run is a free-flowing tributary of the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River; the stream joins the Northeast Branch at the confl uence with Still Creek in Riverdale Park, Maryland. The subwatershed is generally bound by Good Luck Road to the north and west, Annapolis Road (MD Route 450) to the east, and Veterans Parkway (MD Route 410) to the south. The entire subwatershed is located within Prince George's County. Major Briers Mill Run tributaries include: Westbrook tributary, Frenchmans Creek and the Glenridge tributary.

Dominant Land Uses: Medium-density, institutional, open space and parkland, high-density residential, commercial, and low-density residential.

Physical Characteristics: The Briers Mill Run subwatershed is approximately 2,653 acres (4.1 mi2) in size and approximately 29 percent impervious. Briers Mill Run is located entirely within the Coastal Plain physiographic province. Geologically, the Coastal Plain portion of the Anacostia watershed is characterized by largely unconsolidated sedimentary deposits of sands, gravels, silts and clays.

Biological Characteristics: Briers Mill Run is designated a Use I stream (i.e., suitable for water recreation and support of aquatic life) by MDE. Sixty percent (i.e.,3 out of 5) of the County's Briers Mill Run Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) main stem and tributary sampling stations were rated as having non-supporting physical aquatic habitat conditions present, with the remainder exhibiting supporting conditions. The condition of macroinvertebrate populations in both the Briers Mill Run main stem and tributary network is poor. Surprisingly, the Briers Mill Run main stem downstream of Auburn Avenue supports a modest fish community (i.e., approximately 20 species). Unfortunately, tributary fish community-related sampling data is non-existent. In general, both main stem and tributary aquatic communities remain impacted.

Several physical barriers to both resident and anadromous fish movement and migration are present (e.g., concrete channelized stream sections, perched road culverts, piped stream sections, etc). These as well as other barriers in Briers Mill Run have been identified and remain as a restoration challenge for this subwatershed. It should be noted that efforts on the part of Prince George's County and others to remove fish blockages, control stormwater runoff, restore both tributary and main stem instream habitat, create wetlands, reforest riparian corridors, and reintroduce migratory fish to the subwatershed remain on-going.

Condition Summary: Briers Mill Run has the fewest number of stormwater management controls, and is one of the most densely populated and is the most channelized subwatershed within the Maryland portion of the Anacostia. Approximately 86 percent of the total subwatershed area is developed, and roughly 13 percent of the stream miles have an adequate riparian forest buffer (i.e., 300-foot total width). Not surprisingly, far more stormwater retrofitting and stream restoration efforts are needed to restore the aquatic ecosystem of the Briers Mill Run subwatershed. Planned future projects include, but are not limited to: stormwater management focusing on the employment of low impact development (LID) and environmentally sensitive design (ESD), wetland creation, aquatic and terrestrial habitat restoration, fish barrier modify cation/removal, invasive plant management, trash reduction and potentially additional fish reintroductions. Development of the subwatershed in the mid-1960's (which included major floodplain and stream channel/riparian corridor alteration) has resulted in the major loss of both wetlands and aquatic habitat.

To get involved in protecting your Anacostia subwatershed contact the Friends of Briers Mill Run.