Baltimore’s Floating Wetlands


Baltimore Marine Centers, the operator of five distinctive, first class facilities located in and around Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor, has proposed a first-of-its-kind floating wetlands project to be installed at its Harborview Marina. The proposed floating wetlands have the ability to transform the stark, structured Baltimore Harbor shoreline into a beneficial ecosystem, typically provided by tidal wetlands in a natural environment.

The proposed 1.6 acres of floating wetlands at Harborview Marina would be the first of its magnitude to be constructed for public use and education, as well as to benefit the environment – not only in Baltimore, but in the entire United States. Baltimore Marine Centers and a team of architects and other partners have created a well-researched plan for constructing, installing and maintaining the floating wetlands at Harborview, and are currently in the process of obtaining permits for the project. The Joint Federal/State Application for the Alteration of Any Tidal Wetland in Maryland has been submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Improving the Health of Our Harbor

The many environmental benefits of the floating wetlands include improving water quality and clarity, removing excess nutrients from the water, reducing the incidence or severity of low dissolved oxygen events, and providing a habitat for a variety of beneficial plants and animals. With each acre of floating wetland materials being manufactured from 500,000 recycled plastic bottles, the project would also impact plastic bottle recycling and job creation, in addition to the direct benefits the wetlands would have on the environment.

Educational Opportunities

The educational opportunities that the floating wetlands would create for the Baltimore community are unlimited. Living Classrooms and other organizations are committed to developing programs to utilize the proposed floating wetlands and public access piers at Harborview. These organizations see the pier system as an essential resource in providing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) education and real world, hands-on opportunities for students. As a committed partner, Living Classrooms seeks to create a program focused on the floating wetlands by integrating and utilizing the wetlands and piers. The piers will have platforms to allow students and the public to use bathyscopes to view the underwater conditions as well as vegetative and aquatic habitats. The platforms will also allow visitors to see the dense, myriad wetlands and wildlife habitat.

The floating wetlands at Harborview Marina would be another jewel in the Baltimore Harbor for all to visit. By creating the floating wetlands, Baltimore Marine Centers hopes to inspire others to preserve our Harbor – our city’s greatest asset.


Baltimore’s Floating Wetlands