Middle Branch Resiliency Initative
Baltimore Harbor has been facing degradation, habitat loss and pollution for more than a century. Deforestation, development, poor water quality inputs, decades of channel dredging, and the gradual filling and hardening of shorelines in Baltimore City have resulted in poor habitat and unswimmable, undrinkable, and unfishable waters. A drastic and substantial impact to the Middle Branch’s tidal shorelines and wetlands occurred after the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, when rubble from the fire was disposed in the Middle Branch marshes to help create a “hard” base for significant wetland fill.
The Middle Branch Resiliency Demonstration Project is a large-scale living shoreline, buffer, and water access effort that addresses four (4) major needs in the Baltimore Harbor: improvement of water quality through point and nonpoint source pollution reduction, re-establishment of aquatic habitat, creating ecosystem and community resilience in South Baltimore, and a employing a sustainable, environmentally beneficial reuse of dredge material. Key partners currently include Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (through the Chesapeake Bay Chespeake and Coastal Bays Trust Fund), Maryland Port Administration, and our nonprofit allies at South Baltimore Gateways Partnership (through the Reimagine Middle Branch Strategic Planning program).
This project is a part of a larger resiliency effort for and with South Baltimore communities, including a vast array of federal, state, local, and private partners. More information can be found here.