While the harbor still received an "F" on the Healthy Harbor Report Card, there are signs of notable improvement when compared to other years. There was less sewage found in the harbor in 2016, thanks in part to repairs made to broken sewage lines. Additionally, Mr. Trash Wheel, the water wheel that collects trash out of the water, picked up less trash in 2016, dropping the total collected by 76 tons!
The improvements noted in the report card wouldn’t be possible without the work of dedicated volunteers, who continue to make a huge impact on the health of the harbor. More than 300 volunteer hours went into the collection of the data alone for the report card, and that doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of time others donated to the harbor’s protection. The National Aquarium sponsors and participates in cleanups at Fort McHenry, where volunteers have picked up nearly 600,000 pieces of debris since the Aquarium took over stewardship of the marsh in 1999!
It is still the hope of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Blue Water Baltimore and other local groups that the harbor’s water will be clean enough to swim in by 2020.
Read the full 2016 Healthy Harbor Report Card here!