US$500,000 port body grant for eco project

Port of Baltimore The park is located close to the Port of Baltimore (pictured). Image: Maryland Port Administration
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A 16-acre county park is gearing up for environmental improvements with the support of a US$500,000 grant from a US port administration.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) grant will help restore public recreation areas, add walking trails and a boardwalk, and strengthen 2,600 feet of shoreline at Fleming Park. Located close to the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, the park will be restored using sediment dredged from channels leading to the port.

Kristen Fidler, director of harbour development for the MDOT MPA, said: “The MDOT MPA is a national leader in using dredged sediment from shipping channels in ways that benefit the environment. We look forward to transforming this park into something that can be thoroughly enjoyed by local residents and others for years to come.”

Reinforced shoreline

Proposed improvements include public recreation areas with open fields, walking trails that will allow visitors to observe birds and other wildlife, and a boardwalk that will provide access to the Patapsco River. The shoreline will be reinforced and strengthened to accommodate rising water levels due to climate change. The project will be developed in four phases.

The MDOT MPA is the largest creator of wetlands in Maryland due to its award-winning dredged material management programme which rebuilds islands and landside acreage in Maryland using channel sediment.

Poplar Island in Talbot County and Hart-Miller Island near Baltimore have both been rebuilt to their original footprints using channel sediment after decades of erosion whittled both to less than 10% of their original size. They are both now home to hundreds of various species of wildlife and waterfowl.

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