A Blue View: Re-creating Baltimore's Wetland Habitat

When natural shorelines are replaced by manmade structures, valuable ecosystem services can be lost.

Published May 17, 2016


Floating wetland islands offer a solution for restoring those benefits traditionally provided by natural tidal wetlands. They help improve water quality, remove excess nutrients and provide important habitat for a variety of plants and animals—and a few are at work right here in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The National Aquarium installed its first floating wetland back in 2010 and has continued the work ever since.

Though you may not see much movement below its murky surface, the Chesapeake Bay is teeming with life. A variety of fishes, such as the striped bass, northern pipefish and American eel, call the Bay home, as well as blue crabs, snakes, turtles and waterfowl. 

The diverse community of plants found on a floating wetland provides habitat and food for an array of Bay wildlife, while the underwater surface is an ideal substrate for aquatic animals to colonize.

For more on Baltimore’s floating wetlands, check out this week’s A Blue View podcast:

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