Our Model in Action
On a sunny Sunday in September of 2021, our 24/7 Pollution Reporter Hotline rang with a call from a concerned resident. While walking his dogs along the Jones Falls Stream near Cold Spring Lane, Todd Evans noticed something wrong—the water was foamy and had a strong odor of vinegar. “I was concerned about the water, so I went ahead and called Blue Water Baltimore.” From crustaceans to American eels, it appeared that something had killed nearly every fish it encountered. This was the first of two fish kills in the area, and preliminary investigation pointed to the nearby Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company plant as the likely source of the pollution. Blue Water Baltimore has since documented acid discharges flowing through cracks and fissures in the concrete walls of the facility, directly into the Jones Falls. These discharges are in direct violation of state and federal laws. On April 5th, 2023, Blue Water Baltimore, represented by the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, filed suit against Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company and its parent company, Kerry Group, under the Clean Water Act.
What began with a worried neighbor walking his dog has sparked a wave of action aimed to hold polluters accountable, working to protect and restore the health of our treasured waterways. This is the Blue Water Baltimore model in action—Clean Water, Strong Communities.
Lbs of Trash Picked Up
Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Nestled off a quiet suburban street, Eden Korean United Methodist Church is growing more than just a faith community in Baltimore County. In collaboration with Blue Water Baltimore and One Water Partnership, they are installing rain gardens, conservation landscaping, bioretention area, and a dry streambed conveyance on their property. Over 2,000 square feet of paved, impervious surface will now be home to thousands of native plants and pollinators. “In the face of increased rainfall, resulting in heightened stress on our municipal stormwater system, projects like that at Eden Korean are shining examples of how we can build more resilient, adaptive infrastructure in our watershed,” said Blue Water Baltimore’s Director of Restoration, Darin Crew. Contractors managed by Blue Water Baltimore conclude construction at Eden Korean United Methodist Church this spring, alongside the installation of seven other green stormwater projects and hundreds of street trees across Baltimore City and County. With your support, we are building a greener, cleaner watershed.
Native Plants on Your Desktop
Our Herring Run Nursery’s new online store made its debut this spring—with hundreds of native plants available for purchase at the click of a button! Available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, our online store is accessible to more gardeners than ever before. It’s a win for our shoppers and our waterways, as native plant gardens play a key role in our stormwater mitigation strategy. “When homeowners capture stormwater on their properties with native rain- and downspout- gardens, they decrease stress on our outdated infrastructure,” said Mary, our Nursery Assistant Manager. If you’re new to native gardening, visit our online store at bluewaterbaltimore.org/nursery or take a trip to the Nursery in person at 6131 Hillen Road in Baltimore.