Slow progress towards a healthy harbor in Baltimore

Yesterday I attended the launch of the 2014 Healthy Harbor Report Card. Healthy Harbor is an initiative of the Waterfront Partnership that is supported by a coalition of public, private, NGO, and academic partners.

The overall grade this year is an F. As can be seen below, there is a great deal of work to be done.

However, as Baltimore DPW Director Rudy Chow stated, we did not develop poor water quality overnight and we won’t get back to good water quality overnight. It will take a while. We did see some positive trends and signs of progress, particularly in the Gwynns Falls.


Water quality grades are largely failing but trending upwards. In 2014, the Gwynns Falls got the first grade above failing for any watershed since the launch of the Report Card in 2014.

Summaries of the 2014 Healthy Harbor Report Card and launch event can be found in Baltimore Sun Reporter Tim Wheeler’s B’More Green blog and in Baltimore Magazine.

The 2014 Healthy Harbor Report Card can be downloaded here. The baseline data, methods, and previous Report Cards can be found here.

Thanks to the Waterfront Partnership and the partners in the Healthy Harbor Initiative for making measurable progress in improving water quality in Baltimore. We look forward to innovations like Mr. Trash Wheel bringing continued improvement when the 2015 Report Card is released.

The Consulting Group at SavATree provides project support to the US Forest Service Northern Research Station and the Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership.