|Total Area: 4,613 acres (7.2 mi2)
Average Imperviousness: 37%
Population Density: 5,530/mi2
Wetlands: 14 acres
Forest Cover: 23.1%
Deciduous: 324.24 acres
Coniferous: 58.93 acres
Mixed: 312.01 acres
Shrub/Scrub: 197.92 acres
|Local Watershed Group: N/A|
The Northeast Branch is formed by the confluence of Paint Branch and Indian Creek. The Northeast Branch main stem is almost equally divided between tidal and free-flowing (non-tidal) portions. The upper half (upstream of Riverdale Road) is free-flowing, whereas the area immediately downstream of this point is tidal. The Northeast Branch subwatershed is generally bound by College Park Airport and Annapolis Road (MD Route 450) to the north and east, Bladensburg Road (Alternate U.S. Route 1) to the south, and Adelphi Road (MD Route 212) and Baltimore Avenue (U.S. Route 1) to the west. The entire subwatershed is located within Prince George's County. Major Northeast Branch tributaries (Figure 3) include: Guilford Run, Greenvale Parkway tributary, Wells Run tributary and Fletchers Field tributary. The Northeast Branch joins with the Northwest Branch in Bladensburg, Maryland to form the Anacostia River.
Dominant Land Uses: Dominant land uses in the subwatershed include residential (51%), forest (26%), and commercial (10%).
Physical Characteristics: The Northeast Branch subwatershed is approximately 4,613 acres (7.2 mi2) in size and approximately 37 percent impervious. The Northeast Branch 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: The Northeast Branch is designated a Use I stream (i.e., suitable for water recreation and support of aquatic life) by MDE. Each of the two County Northeast Branch Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) main stem sampling stations was rated as having either non- supporting or partially supporting physical aquatic habitat conditions present. Macroinvertebrate populations in both the Northeast Branch main stem and its tributary network are rated as being poor. Main stem fish populations were rated as being generally good. Unfortunately, tributary fish community-related sampling data is largely non-existent. In general, both main stem and tributary macroinvertebrate and fish 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 Northeast Branch 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: The Northeast Branch is one of the more highly paved subwatersheds within the Maryland portion of the Anacostia watershed (i.e., average imperviousness is 38 percent). As of 2005, approximately 95 percent of the total subwatershed area was developed, and roughly 18 percent of the stream miles have an adequate riparian forest buffer (i.e., 300-foot total width). Initial indications are that far more stormwater retrofitting and stream restoration efforts are needed to restore the aquatic ecosystem of the Northeast Branch 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 modification/removal, invasive plant management, trash reduction and potentially additional fish reintroductions.