The Greater Baltimore Region includes Baltimore City and the
counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard. The purpose of the Greater Baltimore Survey is to accelerate
the restoration of the region's 2,000 miles of waterway which are Child Unsafe &
Unfriendly. All homes in the region are within a five-minute walk of our
4,000 miles of streams, rivers and tidal waters. While most of these
waters are small, headwater streams even these can provide a great place for
summertime play. But the waters nearest 70% of the region's homes are
unfit due to runoff pollution, sewerline leaks, quicksandlike deposits of eroded
soil, hazardous debris, etc.
What Is The Greater Baltimore Survey?
Greater Baltimore Survey focuses on the three clean water programs which are
most important to preventing a further increase in Child Unsafe & Unfriendly
waters and restoring the 2,000 miles already degraded to a healthier condition:
Minimizing construction site soil erosion and mud
Ensuring the 21,000+ existing stormwater ponds and other
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are being well maintained; and
Getting the benefits of new development with little or no
aquatic impact through the use of Environmental Site Design practices.
Citizens Win Astounding 61% Improvement!
The first Greater Baltimore Survey was carried out in June,
2014. The second was completed June, 2015 and showed an astounding 61% improvement in
the quality of construction site erosion control. The groups participating
in the Greater Baltimore Survey believe this dramatic increase was attributable
to the public attention and support generated by the first 2014 Survey.
To see the two reports click on the following:
The purpose of the Greater Baltimore Stormwater BMP Survey is
to assess the condition of the nearly 20,000 ponds, filters and other Best
Management Practices (BMPs). These BMPs could be keeping a tremendous
amount of pollution out of our neighborhood waters. Past surveys in some parts
of our region indicated that up to half of these BMPs have failed due to lack of
The graph below shows the condition of the 339 BMPs assessed
by 42 volunteers from the 17 participating groups. Regionwide, 42% of the
BMPs were in good condition, 25% were failing and the remaining 33% were still
providing aquatic resource protection but needed maintenance to prevent failure.
For further detail see the
Our goal is to keep neighborhood waters Child Safe &
Friendly. There are few homes in the Greater Baltimore region which are
more than a five-minute walk from the nearest waterway. While these nearest
waters may be a small, headwater stream they offer the potential for a great
place where neighborhood children can play on hot summer afternoons.
Unfortunately, the waters nearest the vast majority of the region’s 2.7 million
residents are unfit for our children and us adults.
The reason most neighborhood waters are Child Unsafe &
Unfriendly is all of the pollution they receive. This pollution comes from
industrial smokestacks, our cars, our pets, our littering, our lawn care
practices and other sources. The pollution from these sources settles on our
rooftops, our streets, sidewalks and parking lots then washes into neighborhood
waters with each rain. Human waste from leaking sewerlines adds to the problem.
Here’s the good news. Past efforts like the Greater Baltimore
Stormwater BMP Survey have won dramatic improvements in pollution prevention
efforts. The problem with neighborhood water pollution is that it’s pretty much
invisible. The typical suburban-urban stream looks pretty good during
dry-weather. The water is clear and odorless; it’s also mostly lifeless.
Streams within our older suburbs and cities receive such
intense pollution that few fish and other critters can live. But most of us
don’t recognize these signs of trouble. Since the public does not know a problem
exists its easy to divert funds from BMP maintenance to other, more visible uses
like police and schools. The trouble is a lack of balance.
Just as no one would want school funding reduced to where our
children receive a poor education, few of us would opt to reduce BMP maintenance
to the point where our neighborhood waters become a threat to our children. And
since we cannot keep our kids from playing in these waters, we have but one
choice - restore each to a Child Safe & Friendly condition. And this begins by
finding out how well local BMPs are being maintained, hence the Greater