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Sarbanes Joins Healthy Harbor Initiative for Release of Yearly Report Card
Congressman continues support for clean and healthy Inner Harbor
BALTIMORE – U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined Blue Water Baltimore and partners of the Healthy Harbor Initiative to release this year’s Healthy Harbor Report Card, a yearly progress report on efforts to make the Inner Harbor fishable, swimmable and pollution-free by 2020.
“The Inner Harbor is one of Baltimore’s greatest treasures and we must join together to preserve and protect it for generations to come,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Each year, the Healthy Harbor Report Card keeps track of the progress we’ve made and the work that must still be done. A clean, swimmable, fishable harbor will be an incredible environmental and economic asset to our vibrant city.”
The 2013 Report Card shows significant declines in the amount of sewage flowing into the Harbor and casts a hopeful outlook for the positive effects of the City’s recently-implemented stormwater fee. Looking forward, the Report Card highlights the need to remain focused on storm drain inspections, green infrastructure projects and community engagement efforts.
Congressman Sarbanes is a champion of environmental initiatives that engage individual citizens in broader efforts to protect and preserve the environment. One of the best ways to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay is by encouraging more of the 17 million residents of the watershed area to become citizen stewards of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
To achieve this goal, he has introduced legislation and worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to acknowledge the efforts of individual homeowners who make small-scale residential improvements on their properties – like the installation of rain barrels and rain gardens or reductions in impervious surfaces. The EPA now has metrics available to count the positive impact of these improvements toward pollution reductions required under the broader effort to Save the Bay.
The Healthy Harbor Initiative embodies the spirit of citizen stewardship by engaging Baltimore residents, businesses and non-profit organizations with local, state and federal efforts to clean up the Inner Harbor.
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