The Newport Bay region has intensive land use and poor flushing. The towns of Berlin and Newark are located in the Newport Bay area. Land use is dominated by forested land and agriculture. Trappe Creek is a major tributary into the Bay. The bay is flanked by wide marshes and a complex of wetlands, channels, ponds, and uplands. Natural shorelines and expansive marshes are found throughout Newport Bay.
The Town of Berlin has experienced flooding in the Bottle Branch and Kitts Branch subwatersheds for years. Flooded streets and neighborhoods are a common occurrence during even small rain events.
Past studies have determined that flooding is the result of poorly maintained storm water ponds and conveyances. The low relief of the watershed also results in natural ponding, which new residents do not anticipate. Hydrologic engineering can resolve some of the water volume issues, but also need to manage for water quality as well. Best management practices are slowly being incorporated into the watershed to improve water quality. Examples include stream side buffer plantings, spray irrigation of treated wastewater, and infrastructure upgrades. Additionally, community efforts such as Grow Berlin Green are encouraging residents to fertilize less often, install rainbarrels, and incorporate low-impact design standards to prevent flooding.