In May and June of 2010, the Aquarium took part in the restoration of a living shoreline at Westport Waterfront, a mixed-use development in Baltimore City that is currently under construction. The project aims to revitalize the Westport neighborhood with an environmentally conscious way of life and LEED-certified buildings for residential, commercial and retail use. Constructing a healthy marsh as a living shoreline is just the beginning.
More than 170 Baltimore-area students assisted the Aquarium in planting 18,000 marsh grasses along the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. Many of these students were part of our Wetland Nursery Program, so they actually helped grow the grasses in their schoolyards throughout the year before coming out to plant them in the marsh. Westport Waterfront community is reclaiming a previously industrial area adjacent to the river, and many building practices will be in place that should make a positive impact on aquatic habitat. As you can see from the before and after photos, the marsh is already thriving after just one growing season!