BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sunday’s storm is being blamed for an unsightly scene at the Inner Harbor this weekend: trash floating in the water.  But some say that trash is always there, storm or not.  Derek Valcourt questioned the mayor about the mess.

Trash—and lots of it—is floating in the Inner Harbor.  It’s visible even from the sky.

“It’s disgusting,” said Greg Skipper.

For weeks, Harborview resident Skipper has been complaining to the city about trash in the water, snapping photos of what he sees on his daily jogs.  He says the problem was at its worst this weekend.

“It almost looked like the trash was overtaking the Inner Harbor at a certain point. It colonized and was floating as a group of trash.  It was horrible,” he said.

Public Works crews blame Sunday’s strong storm for flushing more trash from the Jones Falls downstream into the harbor.  To make matters worse, they say a special boom designed to stop trash from flowing broke during the storm.  It’s already been replaced. 

The mayor says cleanup is a priority.

“The harbor is a valuable resource.  That’s why, when we had a budget deficit of $121 million, I made sure that I worked with the council to squeeze out money so we could keep the skimmers in the harbor picking up trash,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

WJZ spotted those boats in the water Monday night—along with plenty of trash they didn’t get.

Laurie Schwartz with the Waterfront Partnership calls the Inner Harbor’s trash troubles a reflection on the entire region.

“People don’t stand on the edge of the harbor and throw trash in.  That trash is coming from upstream and it’s not just from the city, it’s from the counties as well,” Schwartz said.

“I’m sure there’s some trickle down, but this is pretty consistent, trash floating in the harbor,” Skipper said.

Travel and Leisure Magazine just ranked Baltimore as the sixth dirtiest city in the country, right behind New York.

Comments (57)
  1. overregulated says:

    This is nothing new. Trash in the harbor, the pollution bomb of Sparrows Point, Curtis Bay, Back River.

    The Baltimore-backed Democrats of this state for decades have been slamming the Eastern Shore with crippling regulations, and O’Malley is touted as an environmentalist, yet those areas were never thought of when it comes to regulations.

    That is because politicians such as O’Malley can posture that they want to clean up the Bay, but not step on the toes of thier voting stock to do so. I thought the Bay cleanup would be based on “science”, but it is rather on the p[olitical divide.

    I geuss those “scientists” don’t believe the Baltimore area is polluting the Bay.

    Where is Will Baker?? Probably trying to figure out another way to punish the Shore

  2. Garth Hoxsie-Quinn says:

    Honestly, trash in this city is horrible, storms or not. Early this year there was a rain storm and the next morning the area near Harbor East (where the floating boom is located) there was a floating island of trash. The problem is is that the trash is everywhere because people that live in this city have no respect for anything. I watched a kid, probably 8 years old, unwrap a candy bar in the car and then throw the wrapper out the window while the car sat parked. Saddly, when we get rain storms the trash flows to the Harbor and when we get wind storms we become blinded by Trash Blizzards. What the city needs to do is ticket people they see littering. It is disgusting and one of the main reasons for me wanting to move from this city, followed closely by crime and lack of respect for each other.

    1. Baltimore Resident says:

      Garth hit the nail on the head, the trash is coming from our own residents dis-respect for the city they live in, battle the source not the result.

    2. starrlena wiseman says:

      i see this all the time, city & county. the kids throw trash every where because they see the adults do it. i see grown men throw 40 bottles and store bags, and potato chip bags, and blunt wrappers and any other kind of trash all over the place. my kids father live in the city by bradford street and they are never allowed there. its so disgusting to see all of the filth, and they all wonder why they have rats & roaches! its the people’s fault, not the “storm” baltimore city is disgusting, and it doesnt matter what part of it you decide to visit. and the county is becoming that way too. its sad & gross. its not the mayor’s fault, and he shouldnt be 100% responsible for the clean up. us as a whole should take blame for this

      1. sheriff says:

        The counties are becoming that way thanks to the gentrification & re-location of the section 8 do nothing but take everything raisin heads.

  3. Everett Rees says:

    I’ve heard this before, Baltimore City is a pig sly…

  4. Mike says:

    The mayor is an idiot and blowhard. She needs to stop worrying about making commercials telling everone to “Get Fresh Baltimore” and do her real job.
    If she is incapable of running the city as it should be run, then she needs to step down and let someone else with initiative take over..
    Lazy corrupt and unwilling to make change.
    She won’t admit that the young black population of the city is ruining Harborplace and will soon turn it into a ghost town.
    The police chief is just as bad. He loves to get on the news and flap his gums but he is just as ineffective as the mayor.
    STEP DOWN and allow someone with cajones run the city

  5. r says:

    stop the people that are creating the trash…always treating the symptom, not the source.

  6. MeLinda says:

    I am from Seattle. The city dwellers there are more conscious of littering (we have heavy fines for doing so, and also have trash receptacles at hand), however, the rural populations tend to burn their trash, or dump it down side roads. Baltimorans, regardless of race, show little respect for the environment. We notice too much trash everywhere…county included. One would make the assumption that East Coasters enjoy living in filth.

    1. andy says:

      MeLinda, How many Spoonies do you have in Seattle? None compared to B’More. You have the the Egg rolls who eat rat & live fifty to a house & are filthy. I agree that there is too much trash & we all know it comes from the predominately Black uneducated families. The city accepts this mess & looks the other way as long as they are not killing one another …but, they are.

      1. ha ha says:

        Melinda, people like Andy and Sheriff (aka willie, aka sheriff Willie, aka williejoe), are what we call “trolls”. They say things that are deliberately obtuse to draw otherwise intelligent people into conflict. They are like the unpredictable drunk guy in the group that you hope will just keep quiet…like, Joe Pesci characters. Best not to make eye-contact and just avoid them entirely.

    2. Jackie Aurburn says:

      its not just baltimorans.. Have you been to pg and montg counties yet? Coming to a town near you..

  7. MeLinda says:

    And I must add, the bigotry and nastiness apparent here adds to the blight.

    1. andy says:

      MeLinda, STFU, You know it’s true, stop living in denial.

      1. HA! says:

        so now we can add “Andy” to the list of aliases for sheriff/sheriff Willie/Willie Joe/Willie… i love how she comments and then agrees with herself under a different name…that’s awesome.

  8. Joyse says:

    I’m 54 and have been hearing this for some many years. It’s only gotten worst. I stopped going into the City for some years now, can’t stand to look at it. The trash is terrible, especially in the streets and alleyways, where people just open their back door and throw out trash and unwanted furniture, and yet they want you donate to clean it up — don’t think so! In another few years the rats will be big enough to ride.

    1. Jackie Aurburn says:

      yet they have the highest water bills and tax rate than anyone. Where does it go? Oh I know.. In the deep pockets of our liberal thieves

  9. Bradley Jones says:

    Shocker. The city (not suburbs) is comprised of 71% minority. Are you surprised at the fact that there is trash everywhere. I wouldn’t go near baltimore unless you need drugs, want shot, or just like the sound of spanish and ebonics being yelled at you.

  10. andy says:

    I made a truthful statement & got my post bumped. So much for the truth & our 1st amendment rights to freedom of speech…The mayor needs to clean up the Black Ghetto trash that is the real problem in the Inner Harbor. Drive through any street in East ^& West Baltimore & it’s loaded with trash plus the two legged kind.

    1. hoo-dity-ha ha says:

      ok ok sheriff Andy, we get it you hate black people….geesh

  11. whatnow says:

    This website s u c k s. I am so tired of writing comments that get lost in the netherworld.

    1. Marylandistan says:

      It happens to all of us who write things which disagree with the uber left wing liberal WJZ. Watch how long this post stays up.

      1. Sensorship is Alive! says:

        We (commentors) would like to think that CBS Baltimore is a non-biased, and non-sensored news source that serves the overall good of the public.
        Free speach, right? Not so.
        There are many, many more comments posted, than actually show up on the CBS web pages. In fact, if you are reading “this” post, it means that they have not removed it yet.
        You are not alone, if you wonder “where did my post go?”
        In order to post a comment, I have to write it, highlight and copy it, click out of the comment box, run an “erase program” to remove cookies that this page places on my computer, click back into the comment box, and quickly “paste and submit comment” before their sensoring program has a chance to restore the cookies on my computer and block my comments.
        Why? Because I write comments that CBS does not want on their page (such as this one).
        Whenever you read the comments on here that appear to represent public opinion, bear in mind that the “opinion” you are observing is that of those who sensor the posts and not that of the general public.
        Kinda takes the fun out of it, if you ask me.
        Advertising is the “name of the game” for sites like this one. Pleasing the majority of the readers is the means, by which, they increase ratings and are able to charge more for the advertisement spots on this page. That is why their program “resets” the page every minute “to the top” where your focus is directed to the “next” advertisement, despite the fact that you were reading a lower portion of the page, and now must scroll-down the page again to find your spot, and resume reading again. How annoying is that?
        But don’t assume that this practice is isolated to CBS. On the contrary, they all do this to us. I know of (not one) site that provides “real, and unsensored speach” to its readers. Very sad.

      2. Censored BS says:

        CBS must be having an issue with their cookies, because I have had comment after comment disappear, some totally benign. I have also seen more and more commenters complaining about the same issue. This isn’t a censorship thing, it’s a technology issue. Complain to the web masters.

  12. lucy lou of parkville says:

    folks who literr have no respect for this world or them selves.keep giving city schools more money and the teachers , this is the tax payers big return. give more money to the parents of these kids they respect nothing, should they they been given a place to stay free,free food, free schooling.. no wounder jails are overcrowed , and trash is in the streets they can’t read.

  13. Jackie Aurburn says:

    I lived in baltimore city for 45 years and loved it but has become a cess pool of trash, illegal immigrants and corruption..*Using tax $$ for political gain* I see people all the time throwing trash in the streets instead of using a trash can. I’ve seen people toss trash out their house & car windows. I actually saw a lady change a diaper and toss it in street. I do complain but it gets nowhere.. Blake use to check mail *in trash bags* on empty lots etc and threatened to fine them but that went no where. I had no choice but move out of cess pool city. Yet many counties are getting same way..

  14. Dave says:

    This is nothing new at all for Baltimore. I’ve lived here my entire life and the Inner Harbor is just one small section of the city that has trash problems. Take a walk through pigtown sometime. North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave have never been clean, trash EVERYWHERE and that isn’t coming from the counties. Has anyone been around Lexington Market lately. Was just there last weekend. What an embarrasing sight in my opinion. That’s a landmark for the city and now it looks like a trash dump outside. Try to go down any alley without getting bitten by a rat eating trash on the ground.

    The bottom line is trash has always been a problem in the city and the high majority of it isn’t coming from the counties. It’s coming from the inner city residents who refuse to use a trashcan. The Mayor is making excuses because it’s a problem that SHE CAN’T FIX. This will NEVER go away. The only thing she can do is add more resources to try to keep ahead of it which won’t happen since the entire City Council is corrupt (just look at all of their own personal legal issues). They focus on giving developers tax breaks and stealing gift cards for the needy. They should go to jail for letting the city look like it does but instead what do they get, retirement at $85k per year for the rest of their life. Makes sense doesn’t it???

    Just think, the Inner Harbor is filled with trash and that’s the “nicest” part of our city. We can take our city back if we stop supporting the criminals in the City Council. Stand up and speak your mind. Call your Congressman (not the Governor because he never cared about trash while he was Mayor either). We need people to stand up and fight for our city. Fight for Baltimore City. She needs us.

  15. Black Eagle says:

    Sheriff, I was wondering when you would show up. And they said racism is dead. You know what amazes me how you hide your hatred behind first amendment rights. What would you think about a black man who was raised to not litter and actually respect the law? Think they don’t exist? Wrong! Who do to think typed this post? You and a racist butt buddy Andy won’t care, you’ll just post more of your bigoted outlook on the world. I do want to thank you for keeping my eyes open to the fact that those of us trying to live in harmony with the rest of the world need to watch for trash like you! So thanks for showing your true colors while hiding behind a keyboard.

    1. Relax Now.... says:

      Don’t get yourself all upset, Black Eagle; there are a lot fewer racist A-holes on here than you would think.

      I am sure that you are a decent guy. After all, its not about color, its about charactor. Most of those who comment on here are intelligent enough to understand this; including yourself.

      Let me tell you something to help put things into perspective, and brighten your day.

      There is no such person as “sherrif” (or his Mom, for that matter). Its just a fictional charator designed to irritate others, and encourage them to comment and check-back often. This website keeps track of the number of “hits” it recieves each day. Its part of their business practice. The more activity they are able to stir up, the more they make on the ads that they make sure you see on their page. These advertisers want to reach as many viewers as possible, and pay big money for that opportunity.
      Don’t pay any mind to “sheriff” or the other seemingly neanderthal mindsets on here. They are not real. Furthermore, when you allow yourself to be manipulated by the clever guy behind the fictional charactor, you benefit them financially.
      I’m not saying that they won’t respond to this comment by insisting that he is real; I’m just trying to help you see that they are just “playing you” and others by stirring the pot.
      Oh, and by the way…thanks for not throwing trash on the ground. That makes at least two of us, Black Eagle.

    2. sheriff says:

      Black Eagle, I welcome your comments. You don’t have to agree with me but your eyesight along with hearing are pretty shot from where I have been & going. Sit there & tell me sir that the neighborhoods in Baltimore city which are comprised mainly of Blacks are as clean as those of Roland Park, Guilford, Ruxtun? Due primarily to a lack of parental guidance & teen prgnancy & an overall shrug of the shoulders towards the environment, Blacks perpetually just do what makes them feel good. Walking over to a container across the street is too much trouble so they drop whatever out the back door , hands, car window because they are ill mannered. I grew up with Blacks next to me in Phila. & that Mom & Dad, yes they had a mom & dad back then, would never allow this to happen today. My tired eyes have seen it all & it is getting worse. You want to call the truth racism? go ahead but it’s still the facts.

  16. sheriff's mom says:

    My son sheriff, who’s about as manly as a pink and yellow tutu, is just another of those internet racists who are afraid to say the same thing on the street. Then he’d be laid out like trash.

  17. andy's mom says:

    Andy, my son, whenever you leave the public library, since we don’t have a computer in our trailer park, please stop by your crack dealer and get momma a good pain reliever. That meat gazers colonoscopy your boyfriend just gave me is a little painful. I don’t see how you get those every day.

  18. BREAKING NEWS says:

    Baltimore Police have just raided a squatter’s camp and found two men, identified only as Andy and sheriff, locked in what is known as a 69 position. Both were found with the other man’s member in his mouth and the other man’s fingers in his behind. When police spoke with Andy’s mother, she stated he does this on a twice daily basis. Sheriff’s mother stated he gets it in both ends all day every day, usually from the largest male prostitutes he can find. Andy’s mother also stated her son, Andy, suffers from a protein deficiency and keeps an industrial size can of semen in his room to gargle and swallow. More on this breaking story on our 11:00 broadcast.

    1. ron says:

      lolllllll this is funny. i see they dont have a reply to this

    2. draw back the curtain says:

      even funnier because sheriff is a woman. well, a tranny maybe…s/he let it slip on one of his/her rants about people of color…she is in fact: Sherrif, sheriff Willie, Willie, Wille Joe, and now, Andy. I would like to thank all the intelligent folks who call him/her out on her performance. Now that we know who it is, she’ll change her verbiage from words like “spoonie” and “porch monkey” to “spiggah” and the much more classically offensive “nig ger”…. I think I speak for all people of intelligence who read and comment here when I suggest completely ignoring comments that are clearly designed to provoke you. It’s just a game.

  19. Lifelong city resident says:

    This problem isn’t just in Black neighborhoods and Blacks aren’t the only people who litter. SOME neighborhoods have the number convenience of street sweepers coming through weekly while others don’t. My community doesn’t so we take it upon ourselves to keep our streets clean. Instead of hiding behind what’s probably a stolen computer, Andy and Sheriff, try crawling out of your trailers or the tents you like e in,, and clean up your own trailer park/en encampment. Every time a story is posted here, you two inbred idiots throw your racist comments in it. Try saying those things to a Black man on the street and I can guarantee you’ll be the next news story.”Man found on city street with a foot stuck up his behind”.

    1. Easy Now.. says:

      Lets not allow our anger to override our dignity.

    2. sheriff says:

      Lifelong, You’re not only blind to life but a silly person that is somehow managing to live in it.

  20. Michael Nauton says:



  21. Johnny Hamer says:

    I understand everyone’s sentiment about it being a race issue. Whether you like it or not, it is. It cost NOTHING to take your trash to a trash can.

    We can ride through Canton(no street sweeper trucks) then ride through North Ave(weekly streetsweep). Please tell me where you see more pollution and trash. Anyone who cares to disagree, please go ride through these different areas and see for yourself.

  22. sheriff says:

    Black Eagle, Breaking News, Sheriff & Andy’s mom, Whether it’s one & the same is not important. You can attack me all you want but for the exception of a few like yourselves the rest of the bloggers are knowledgeable & on my side. The last poster thus far, Johnny Hamer said it best when requesting you take a ride through Canton & then through North ave, Penna ave. Yeah where they built those nice high rise low income homes for the spoonies that look like s…..t & are drug infested. You people are in denial & have a pseudo persecuted personality & need to get over it. May I suggest you move into East or West Baltimore & have your Mom & Dad beaten for a few dollars, daughter or wife raped & then come tell me how civilized these pavement apes are. Sure I would get my face smashed if I spoke that in their neighborhood but nothing would happen to them in mine because we whites are more civilized & tolerant.

    1. TROLL ALERT says:

      LOL!!!! RELAX NOW! You were right!!! She did try to deny it! Her other alias, in case I left it out is “Diane King”… so funny!

      1. Diane King says:

        You are so wrong. I have one name on here only and am not associated with the sheriff.

      2. Diane King says:

        and I’m not sure what makes you think I’m a sheriff alias. My posts in no way resemble hers. Although my view point may be similar. Hard to accept that there’s more than one person with that viewpoint??

  23. Diane King says:

    I cannot comprehend the level of ignorance and disrespect for the environment, for other people, and for themselves, that must be behind the littering that I witness being committed by some people. I wish there were more of an effort being made to impose fines on these pigs.

  24. JR says:

    The only thing I can say, Wow… Hatred and bigotry don’t work.. The bottom line trash belongs in the trash can regardless… At some point we all need to come up with ideas on how to curve some of these issue, which are destroying our society and people regardless of race….

  25. Dave says:

    It’s impossible to fix the trash problems (and violence) in our city when the leadership in the city (aka City Council) in corrupt. We need good leadership and we haven’t had that since Don Schaffer was Mayor. We need leadership that actually cares about our city and takes care of it with personal pride and NOT leadership that only cares about giving tax breaks to developers and literally stealing gift cards for the needy. I’ve lived here my whole life and have never been so embarrassed to see so much carelessness of the inner city residents. I’ve witnessed them urinating on the sidewalks (constantly), throwing bags of opened trash out onto the sidewalks and streets, breaking liquor bottles on the streets, etc… We need leadership that can fix the core issues… What’s running city council now should be against the law. Call your Congressman and complain. The Governor doesn’t care, trust me. As a past Mayor he knows the issues but refuses to fix them.

  26. Joe says:

    This place is a dump and it’s spreading throughout your state. Not having lived here all my life I have seen that the grass is greener on the other side of the state line. (any direction). It’s nit a black or white thing, I live in federal hill and watch the low life white trash throw down their empty battles in front of my house everyday all the while claiming how proud they are to be from this land fill. Before you say go back, I am trying, I am kept my residency in my home state. I will never call this place home.

    Back to my original statement, this place sucks. They have almost no trash cans on the street and they only sweep a few streets on the entire city. It’s rediculous that this moran of a mayor claims she is going to make cleaning the harbor a priority when she will not clean the streets wrapping around it. It amazes me that the owners of the peer homes are taxed to the tune of 25k a year for living over a cess pool. No wonder most of them are vacant and in forclosure!

    Would the last tax payer to leave this dump please turn off the lights a you vacate the city.

  27. RichardC says:

    It’s expensive to collect trash out of the harbor. I think an anti littering campaign focusing on the source of the trash would be more cost effective.

    Try marking fast food cups to identify which outlets are contributing the largest amounts, then focus on those areas, to encourage the customers with promotions to not litter.

    Not every cup or wrapper or old tire would need to be market……just enough to identify some of the areas.

    1. moleman says:

      Richard, You’re drinking the Kool aid again I see.

  28. danderson says:

    Trash in the city people don:t care.trash in the bay is there another way for the trash to get into the bay?thru storm drains?.and people throwing trash in the harbor.i live in the ccity i pay every three months $7.25 for what to clean up the bay,so why are we having this problem?. Do county folks pay no just the city people. If you want this city to stay clean use the inmates.five days a week have them out cleaning the streets,let them feel what is like for some to throw trash on the streets after they have cleaned it them they us e us the tax payers,i would rather see them out working in the streets 5 days a week rather than sitting in a cell watching tv all day thinking of more thing to get into once they are there a policy that this can not be done? maybe we need to change it.

  29. tylerjake says:

    Is this the SAME Inner Harbor they are trying to say will be ready to swim in by 2020? Who’s going to take the first plunge?! 😮

    1. sheriff says:

      They’re going to dig up William Donald Schaffer. & push him in at the Aquarium during Good Morning America.

  30. hobblergobbler says:

    Just keep your own area clean….no matter how many times trash is found, just keep picking it up and putting it in the proper place. Sure, you can get angry if a person tosses trash on the ground as you are sweeping, but in the end, you have a clean area. I was waiting at the bus stop 5 feet from a trash can, and a man was reading the city paper (or looking through it). As soon as he tossed it on the ground, I walked over, picked it up and put it in the trash. He stared at me for about 5 minutes, expecting me to say something. I just looked the other way.

    1. Diane King says:

      I love it! I wonder if your good citizenship rubbed off at all. You can only hope. Unfortunately when you see a bag of trash come flying out a car window going down the road, there’s no opportunity do to this.

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