"Baltimore's revitalized waterfront draws millions of visitors a year, but could it ever be a place where people actually take a dip? Or catch fish?
That's the vision of a local group that wants to make Baltimore's harbor swimmable and fishable within a decade.
The Waterfront Partnership, a nonprofit group funded by a tax surcharge on commercial properties along the harbor, plans to unveil its proposal this week for "floating wetlands" that filter and oxygenate polluted water and other projects from installing urns for cigarette butts to adding trees and native plants.
If Baltimore's polluted water can be made safe for swimmers and anglers, they say, it would be the most dramatic change to the harbor since it was transformed from rotting wharves and banana boats in the 1950s to an urban playground and tourist destination 30 years later. The goal is to show tangible ways that can help put Baltimore at the forefront of American cities cleaning up their harbors."
Edward Gunts reports for the Baltimore Sun April 17, 2010.