Floating marsh vital to Inner Harbor's future

October 17, 2012

Regarding your article about a proposed floating wetland in the Inner Harbor, there shouldn't be much debate needed because the positive attributes of such a project far outweigh the negatives ("Largest Inner Harbor marsh project yet is stirring debate," Oct. 15).

For years the area surrounding the Inner Harbor has been plagued by problems of litter, pollution, unhealthy water and public apathy. In the last 10 years there has been a push to clean up the harbor, promote bay and wildlife education and involve residents in an effort to take pride in their city. Why stop this effort now?

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the world's largest fresh water estuaries, and it is also part of the mid-Atlantic flyway bird migration route. Each year thousands of bird species, many of which are endangered, fly through the Inner Harbor to reach their destinations. The proposed floating marsh would provide habitat for these species and an opportunity for people to learn about the wildlife it attracts.

The financial and maintenance concerns of City Hall officials are understandable. However, groups such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have the funds to promote projects like this, and they can partner with other organizations to ensure a maintenance plan.

Marylanders need to protect the uniqueness of the Inner Harbor, and the best way to start is through a project promoting education and preservation. An innovative, floating wetland project is what Baltimore needs to continue to secure the health and success of its harbor.

Stephanie Saulsbury

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