BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of the state’s most well-known historic sites is getting a spring cleaning this weekend, courtesy of the National Aquarium.
As Gigi Barnett explains, volunteers focused on a patch of wetlands that many people don’t know about.READ MORE: Summer Surge: As Coronavirus Infections Rise In Maryland, Some Reveal Why They Won’t Get Vaccine; Hogan Says ‘Breakthrough’ Infections Under 1%
Like a small army on a mission, volunteers march through Fort McHenry. Their goal is to clean up the wetlands hidden behind the historic fort, protecting wildlife and sea animals.
The trash comes from the hands of consumers, but it is Mother Nature that leads it to that spot.
“We’ve had a lot of rain here in Baltimore over the past week or so and any time it rains, it washes what’s in the streets of our city down into the nearest storm drain,” said Laura Bankey, conservation director, National Aquarium.
The National Aquarium organizes the field day effort twice a year–once in the fall and once in the spring. The last time they were there, the trash was endless.
“We probably filled up a trash bag or two full of water bottles per person,” said Emily Iseman, volunteer.READ MORE: Chaotic Pop-Up Block Parties Disrupt North Baltimore Neighborhood
Iseman, along with volunteers Diamon Clark and Rachel Steelman, is a member of Stevenson University’s environmental club, giving up their weekend morning to collect the refuse.
They say there are easy things people can do to make sure litter doesn’t get too far.
“We always like reusable water bottles and recycling,” said Clark and Steelman.
Environmentalists say there’s another way to keep the state’s waterways clean–to shop smarter.
“We have a consumerism problem. We just buy too much stuff so if you just scale back. Start buying locally; start buying from businesses that have some type of environmental ethic,” said Clark.MORE NEWS: Lamar Jackson Tests Positive For COVID-19, Misses First Day Of Ravens Training Camp
The amount of trash collected by volunteers will be recorded and added to a regional goal this year to collect four million pounds of trash from waterways that lead to the Chesapeake Bay.