Results and Accomplishments
In partnership with the National Park Service, the Aquarium maintains and monitors the site’s biological functions, tracks its progress, and interprets this information for Aquarium volunteers, visitors to Fort McHenry, and the general public. Such public support is vital to successful restoration programs. Since 1998 the Aquarium has hosted 21 field days, attracting volunteers from around the community who have removed over 305,600 pieces of debris. Debris removal conducted in 2004 involved 344 volunteers totaling 2,218 service hours. During this time 10,405 pieces of debris were removed form the Fort McHenry wetland.
The wetland re design and construction created a fully functioning marsh by promoting regular, natural tidal flooding to the site, controlling debris accumulation, and enhancing its habitat value to plant and animal species. After the construction was completed, the Aquarium worked with 608 community volunteers from April 19-22, 2004 to plant 55,000 units of Spartina cynosuroides (giant cordgrass), S. alterniflora (smooth cordgrass), and S. patens (salt meadow cordgrass). 4,881 volunteer hours were dedicated to complete the restoration project. The site now flourishes with additional volunteer plant species such as Scirpus americanus (olney three-square), and Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge). Aquarium staff and volunteers will return to the site semi-annually to monitor the success of the project.