The National Aquarium’s Wetland Nursery Program brings hands-on marsh restoration to the schoolyard—and to the far reaches of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed!
In October 2011, the Aquarium Conservation Team traveled to the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, the Chesapeake Bay’s largest freshwater source, to teach students in New York how their actions affect aquatic health all the way down in Baltimore.
Students from Chenango Forks High School in Binghampton, NY, and Ridge Road Elementary School in Horseheads, NY, worked to set up ponds at school to grow freshwater wetland plants.
In the spring, the Aquarium will visit again to help students restore their local wetlands by planting the plants they’ve raised throughout the school year!
Spring is here! Flowers are in bloom, grass is getting greener, and the water warming- but is it getting cleaner?
As stated the EPA’s annual Chesapeake Bay report, the Bay Barometer, despite small successes in certain parts of the ecosystem and specific geographic areas, the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay did not improve in 2008. The Bay continues to have poor water quality, degraded habitats and low populations of many species of fish and shellfish. Based on these three areas, the overall health averaged 38 percent, with 100 percent representing a fully restored ecosystem.
As we hear all of the time, one of the greatest challenges to restoration is continued population growth and development, which destroys forests, wetlands and other natural areas. The impact of human activity is overwhelming nature and offsetting cleanup efforts.
Almost 17 million people live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The actions that residents take everyday affect nature and impact the health of local creeks, streams and rivers, and ultimately the Bay. As you set off to enjoy the season and the outdoors, remember what you can be doing to help protect our waters and the animals that inhabit them:
Pick up after your pet
Use phosphorus-free dish detergent
Drive your car less
Don’t fertilize your lawn
Plant native trees and shrubs
Install a rain barrel and rain garden