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Ten Mile Creek: Saving Our Last Best Stream

The Situation | Report: Why and How Save the Creek | Map of Proposed Development

Victory for clean water in 2014; vigilance ongoing

TenMiHerp2Ten Mile Creek in Clarksburg and Boyds is Montgomery County's last, best creek, and the cleanest tributary to the greater DC region's only nearby emergency drinking water supply – Little Seneca Reservoir. We know that Ten Mile Creek is our highest-quality stream because Cathy Wiss and her Audubon Naturalist Society team, along with the county Department of Environmental Protection, have been monitoring it since the 1990s, finding it well supplied with fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and other bioindicators of water quality. Ten Mile Creek is threatened by developments that would destroy the forests, fields, and soils that keep it cold and clear. But the threat was lessened when ANS and partners organized the Save Ten Mile Creek Coalition and pressured Montgomery County to protect our drinking water.

After 20 years of county and ANS citizen science monitoring, 3000 letters and petitions signed, and 300 on-line activists sending over a thousand emails to councilmembers, the Montgomery County Council on April 1, 2014, approved the Ten Mile Creek Limited Master Plan Amendment. This requires a 6% cap on pavement in the most sensitive western area of the watershed, and 80% forested open space to be protected.

Enforcing this mandate requires constant vigilance. To ensure that this vigilance and advocacy will continue well into the future, ANS and Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA) launched the Friends of Ten Mile Creek and Little TenMile15Seneca Reservoir in the summer of 2014. Hosted by MCA for now, FoTMC's President is Tenley Wurglitz (ANS Volunteer Advocate of the Year for 2014); its Board includes Jim Choukas-Bradley, Royce Hanson and Scott Fosler. ANS Board member Mike Gravitz, and staffers Cathy Wiss and Diane Cameron, also serve on the FoTMC Board.

In the news: 

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ANS volunteers, led by Cathy Wiss, have been monitoring Ten Mile Creek in Clarksburg for 15 years, and they find an aquatic life community there that is uniquely diverse in Montgomery County.

Cathy Wiss and Keith Van Ness at Ten Mile Creek
ANS Water Quality Monitoring Program Coordinator Cathy Wiss and Montgomery DEP's Aquatic Biologist Supervisor Keith Van Ness at Ten Mile Creek in January 2013

Studying the creek and its inhabitants, January 2013

Our video - back in 2012