By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Before polluters can be hauled into court, they have to be caught. That’s led Maryland’s attorney general to conduct ongoing environmental audits along Maryland’s waterways.

Alex DeMetrick reports the Inner Harbor is the state’s dirtiest.

Tourists usually cruise the Inner Harbor, but Tuesday it was the Attorney General.

“You don’t want to stay in an ivory tower. You need to get out on the water to see what’s out there,” said Doug Gansler, Maryland Attorney General.

Not much to see Tuesday, but when it rains, there’s plenty. Trash is the most obvious pollutant, but that’s only the surface problem. A lot more spills out of storm drains.

“Water quality, most due to stormwater. Bacterial contamination and trash,” said Dr. William Dennison, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

All of which makes the Inner Harbor Maryland’s dirtiest water and an ongoing priority.

“Our biggest role is enforcement. We actually prosecute and we have dozens of ongoing cases involving people who have polluted the Inner Harbor or continue to pollute the Inner Harbor,” Gansler said.

But during his boat ride, Gansler heard of wider, more anonymous sources to work into his environmental audit of the Inner Harbor.

“It’s our trash, it’s our fertilizer, it’s our cars that are generating all the junk that makes its way into the Inner Harbor and becomes this toxic soup,” said Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Eliza Steinmeier.

Tracking that back upstream for enforcement will lead to cities and counties. A few jurisdictions have already submitted cleanup plans.

Because there is no dirtier water in Maryland than the Harbor, improving it could make improving the Chesapeake Bay a lot more doable.

“By doing that, I think we can lift everybody up and increase their commitment to the bay,” Dennison said.

As a starting point for improvement, scientists will release findings of the harbor’s current environmental status Wednesday.

Comments (17)
  1. Collin Wickes says:

    And our “great” governor Mr. Owe’malley wants everyone to live in the city to make things better, right? Seeing as he wants to take away funding for rural counties….

  2. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    We are a nation of people that cares more about the amount of minutes on our cell phone plan than the evviornment. I hear, “What can I do I’m only one person”? That one person if they don’t throe their trash out the car window or on the street where it washes down into the harbor or bay, can make a differece if many people feel this way. This behavior is mostly found in lower uneduated neighborhoods where responsibility is absent for these people because everything they have id given to them without question. You don’t see this trash on the streets of Ruxton, Guilford, Canton or fells point. Think about it moolies.

    1. Stupidity Rules says:

      Your last sentence contains a verb that most do not do except for involuntary brain function.

  3. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Stupidity rules, You’re correct the ethnicity group I was referring to , can’t read or write unless it’s either ebonics or the use of a spray can of paint but my message is loud & clear.

    1. ML says:

      Mr. Bernard, You are not qualified to discuss reading and writing.

      1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

        ML, I chuckle to think you are capable of stretching that cranial capacity of yours to make a statement other than a one line sentence. Bet you stayed up all night with a dictionary & word spell just to make the above.

  4. GM says:

    Consider the trash in lower-class neighborhoods and the way certain ethnics live. That says it all as the dont respect anything.

    1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

      GM, When one is given everything one cannot understand responsibility to self & others. We have 60″ of the city on Nanny care living check to check & have never been held accountable for their actions. There’s your answer.

  5. Kelg says:

    Pollution in the INNER HARBOR, the mayor wants to be able to have swimming in the INNER HARBOR in a few years to come: The INNER HARBOR is not the only dirty place in Baltimore city! Mrs Mayor have you walked or should I said had someone drive you on York Road, Belair Road, Northern Parkway, the Alameda, have you been through Baltimore city at all lately–it is filthy! Baltimore is more than just the INNER HARBOR! Help clean the ENTIRE CITY!

  6. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Keig, If people would take responsibility for their own actions, the city would not have to pick up the trash from the harbor, the streams etc.You don’t see this disgraceful conditions in Ruxton, Guilford, Canton. Maybe because it’s residents care, are educated & are mostly white successful professionals.

  7. 5150 says:

    2 + 2 is 5?????? Do you smell that?

    1. matt says:

      all i smell is our Mayors bulls*it

  8. plerisanford says:

    you definitely love at my estore with confident

  9. dritegearldine says:

    check suprisely for more

  10. matt says:

    I was leaving work the other day and saw a couple of common Baltimore citizens tossing they soda bottles on the street to dispose of them. the city needs the be fumigated and we need to start over.

    1. Steven Spiegel says:

      They need a task force on littering. Instead of chasing drug users. I wonder how much they spend on housing drug addicts a year ? If they took that money and started a litter task force the harbour would be a lot cleaner. They need plained closed officers walking the streets and issuing tickets to people who just throw there trash on the ground. I was raised to respect the community and if one of my children or grandchildren threw trash when i am around they would get there rear smacked. Give them a few days in jail then while they are there take them out in vans and make them clean the city. Make sure they fine them enough to pay for there stay and the gas and hr rate of the gaurd who has to watch them.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE