Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan Wins 2021 NaCo Award

Naco Achievement



Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

The Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning received a “Best in Category” in Planning for The Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan.

“The Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan’s award of ‘best in category’ for planning is a testament to the dedicated and resilient residents and business owners in Ellicott City,” said Department of Planning and Zoning Director Amy Gowan. “They provided countless hours over multiple years collaborating with staff and experts. The master plan’s vision for rebuilding while enhancing the town – and achieving multiple objectives – is a direct result of their contributions. The Department of Planning and Zoning is humbled to have received this recognition.”

Expanding upon the initial efforts from Howard County to return Ellicott City to normalcy after two devastating “1000 year floods” and upon a Hydrology/Hydraulic Study, the County launched the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan in May 2017 with the objective of defining a comprehensive community-driven vision for rebuilding a stronger and more resilient Ellicott City. The County selected Mahan Rykiel as the project lead to manage a comprehensive team that offers expertise on a range of conditions—from creative flood mitigation, managing parking resources effectively to sensitivity to the community’s historic character.

Learn More about the project here.