Everybody knows that Baltimore Harbor is polluted, but did you know that there’s a movement underway to make it safe for swimming and fishing by the year 2020? The Healthy Harbor movement was started by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, and is supported by Baltimore City as well as area businesses and nonprofit organizations.
To see an example of what the Healthy Harbor movement has accomplished so far, you need only take a stroll down to the Inner Harbor to see the two thousand square feet of floating wetlands that have been installed next to the World Trade Center. These islands float on plastic bottles that were recovered from the Harbor and use natural processes to remove pollutants from the water while providing native habitat for birds, fish, crabs, and other marine life.
Waterfront Partnership, in collaboration with Blue Water Baltimore, is also working with neighborhoods upstream of the Harbor to help them become Clean Water Communities. Neighborhoods are spreading the word and making a difference by cleaning up vacant lots, installing rain barrels, and painting storm drains. Storm drain art engages neighborhood youth and helps neighborhoods keep their streets clean by reminding people that anything going down a storm drain ends up in the Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. Neighborhood storm drain murals often depict fish and crabs and include catch phrases like “trash in the street pollutes what we eat,” others remind residents of long buried urban streams that still flow beneath City streets with phrases like “Harris Creek is under our feet.”