We are excited to announce that the newly released Healthy Harbor Report Card 2012 contains our annual assessment for the Baltimore Harbor. This year the Harbor received an overall grade of C-.
The Harbor’s grade, which is based upon 2012 monitoring data collected by the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper, was higher than we expected. Still, the Harbor met our ecological health thresholds only 40% of the time, which is just barely a C-.
This grade gives us hope that the Harbor’s water quality can be improved, but improvement is by no means a sure thing. We must build on the momentum of ongoing efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay through reductions in stormwater runoff and the repair of failing sewage pipes and infrastructure.
This is the first year we have had the amount of data needed to produce an overall grade. In previous years we relied on a single sampling site that provided a limited set of data. Thanks to a grant from the Abell Foundation, we were able to expand our sampling program to 30 sites, which gave us our first comprehensive look at water quality throughout the Baltimore Harbor.
The complete report card provides information about the ecological parameters we monitor , the condition of the Harbor’s water quality in 2012, and what restoration projects the watershed community has undertaken in the past year to get the Harbor closer to a grade of A. We encourage you to read the report card.
Also, we want to make our annual report cards more useful to you so PLEASE help us by filling out a short, 10-question survey.