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Our Waterfront Campus project protects animals and people by increasing biodiversity, promoting healthy habitats and contributing to climate resiliency. We started experimenting with floating wetland technology in Baltimore's Inner Harbor in 2010, reintroducing wetland habitat to promote clean water. In the project's first 11 years, we learned several important lessons that are shaping the project's future. Following a pandemic-related pause in fundraising, in 2021, our plans attracted generous additional support, bringing our vision closer to reality.
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We are proud to support the ambitious international effort to build up the planet's resilience to the impacts of climate change by protecting at least 30% of Earth's lands and waters by 2030. We lobbied for legislation at the federal and state levels, and are one of 180 aquariums, zoos and museums from across the United States that support the Biden administration's America the Beautiful campaign. The 30x30 approach helps inform our advocacy around local policies and initiatives related to our conservation goals.
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We also increase biodiversity, promote healthy habitats and contribute to climate resiliency by planting and maintaining trees, grasses, shrubs and wetland plants at key sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including Nassawango Creek Preserve on Maryland's Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach. In 2021 alone, the Aquarium worked with volunteers and partners to put a total of 30,145 plants in the ground in these and other locations.
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To curb the negative impacts of plastic pollution on the health of people, wildlife and ecosystems, we supported Baltimore City's Comprehensive Bag Reduction Act and a new Maryland law prohibiting balloon releases, both of which went into effect in 2021, and removed plastic pollution from the environment. At our cleanup events across Maryland, we worked with volunteers to remove 83,184 pieces of debris—81,834 of which were plastic—from shorelines and waterways.
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To engage community scientists and foster connection to—and responsibility for—healthy ecosystems, we manage Baltimore's participation in City Nature Challenge and we hold an annual BioBlitz at Masonville Cove, which this year was a celebration of Latino Conservation Week. More than 1,100 participants made 13,981 observations of 4,381 distinct species—including those considered rare, vulnerable and imperiled in Maryland, such as the American chestnut, bald eagle, pied-billed grebe and double-crested cormorant. As an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife program, we certified 374 Maryland gardens.