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Naming your streams and creeks: Anne Arundel County Tidal Rivers. Peter Bergstrom , US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Paula Jasinski , Chesapeake GIS COGNA July 24, 2002. Need for naming project. Many of the smaller tidal creeks and ponds do not have names on maps

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naming your streams and creeks anne arundel county tidal rivers

Naming your streams and creeks: Anne Arundel County Tidal Rivers

Peter Bergstrom, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Paula Jasinski, Chesapeake GIS

COGNA July 24, 2002

need for naming project
Need for naming project
  • Many of the smaller tidal creeks and ponds do not have names on maps
    • We tend to name things we use (most of the unnamed creeks are not navigable)
  • People usually care more about things when they know their names
  • Goals are to increase awareness and stewardship of smaller water bodies
history of project
History of project
  • I tried to get signs erected where roads cross local creeks in 1996 and 1998

Sign that I suggested that was erected by State Highways near my house

history of project1
History of project
  • In doing research for a “Watershed tour” for Magothy River Association web page, I found that two of the creeks draining into Lake Waterford (and several nearby creeks) had no names
    • See next slide
  • I decided to try to find names for them, and other local creeks that lacked them
slide5

Upper Magothy Watersheds that needed names

All are wadeable, none are navigable

except for a short distance by canoe

history of project continued
History of project continued
  • I wrote a grant to Chesapeake Bay Trust in early 2001
    • It was submitted (and supported with matching funds) by Severn River Association, Magothy River Association, and South River Federation
  • Grant was awarded, and Paula Jasinski was hired as GIS Specialist to research names and prepare maps
  • Anne Arundel County printed the maps
history of project continued1
History of project continued
  • Public meetings were held to solicit comments on any new or changed names
  • Proposed changes with documentation will be sent to US Board of Geographic Names for their review
  • Changes that are accepted will be added to on-line Federal GNIS database of place names, and may be used on future maps
  • Watershed groups could also make maps
types of stream naming we did
Types of stream naming we did
  • Submitting names that were published in books, or on tax or sewer maps
  • Finding old names recorded on deeds
  • Naming features that had no known names, usually after nearest community or park
  • Correcting errors in GNIS
    • Right name, but in wrong place
    • Name spelled wrong, but in right place
examples of names that were published in books or on sewer or tax maps
Examples of names that were published in books, or on sewer or tax maps
  • Upper Severn tidal creeks -- Book (8)
    • Book was part of “Scenic River” designation
  • South shore of Severn, non-tidal portions of named tidal creeks -- Sewer maps (7)
    • The navigable, tidal portions all had names in GNIS, but the non-tidal portions did not
  • Upper Magothy -- tax maps (2)
    • 7 other creeks nearby were not labeled on tax or sewer maps
slide10

Cool Spring

Branch

Chartwell

Branch

Bear

Branch

Pointfield

Branch

Lake Liberty

(on Stevens Ck)

Sewell Spring

Branch

Names from book

(Gems of the Severn)

Indian Creek &

Branch

Arden Pond

Cypress Branch

slide11

Arthurs Run

(Brewer Pond)

Hidden Pond

(Brewer Creek)

Davids Run

(Hopkins Ck)

Names from sewer maps:

Severn River south shore

(nontidal portions of

named tidal creeks)

Howards Branch/

James Run (Brewer Creek)

Hockley Branch

(Clements Creek)

Cabin Branch

(Saltworks Creek)

Howard Creek

(Luce Creek)

Cowhide Branch

(Weems Creek)

old names recorded on deeds
Old names recorded on deeds
  • We found names for three Upper Magothy creeks this way
    • One was mentioned in a book as a mill site (Muddy Run)
    • nearby landowners contacted us with names for two creeks after reading a newspaper article about the project; they had researched deeds for their property that mentioned a creek name
    • it would be very time-consuming to search all deeds for creek names
naming features with no known names
Naming features with no known names
  • We had to do this for four Upper Magothy creeks
  • In three cases, we chose the name of the nearest community, as was done in naming upper Severn creeks in Gems of the Severn
  • In one case (Kinder Branch), we chose the name of the family that farmed the land at the headwaters & sold part of it for a county park
examples of corrections to gnis
Examples of corrections to GNIS
  • Right name, wrong place
    • Pleasant Lake on Whitehall Bay, name put on nearby pond (which owner declined to name citing privacy concerns)
    • Timberneck Creek was applied to Manresa Pond on lower Severn, Timberneck is an alternate name for a different creek
  • Misspelled names
    • Rose Cove on Magothy, should be Ross
slide18

GNIS has Pleasant Lake label

on the wrong pond (ADC label

is between the two ponds; see next

slide)

Pleasant Lake

(on tax map)

Owners refused to name

this pond

slide19

Ambiguous label placement can cause name location errors

Anne Arundel County

ADC street atlas

Arrow not on original. Ambiguous label probably caused an error with Pleasant Lake because this name is not on USGS or NOAA maps.

It did not cause an error with Goose Pond because this name is on USGS and NOAA maps.

slide20

Manresa Pond

(alternate name: Browns Cove; currently “Timberneck”; 210 acres)

GNIS map

Not labeled on USGS,

NOAA, or ADC maps

next steps in naming project
Next steps in naming project
  • Submit changes to GNIS and get them approved (about 160 changes total)
  • Get artist to draw map of Magothy and label as many features as possible
  • Continue stream monitoring to identify any problems and increase stewardship
  • Request more creek name signs at road crossings (prefer ones with water visible)
acknowledgments
Colby Rucker

Gems of Severn author

Marianne Taylor

Magothy: My river speaks author

Wayne Cody

Tim Schaefer

George Dinwiddie

Richard O Haffer

Jonathan McKnight

Chesapeake Bay Trust

Magothy River Assoc.

Paul Spadaro, Pres.

Severn River Assoc.

Dave Wallace, Pres.

South River Fed.

Drew Koslow, Pres.

Janis Markusic

AA Co. Planning & Zoning

Acknowledgments
contact information
Contact information
  • Peter Bergstrom
    • 410-573-4554
    • peter_bergstrom@fws.gov
  • Paula Jasinski
    • 410-956-3917
    • paula@chesapeakegis.com