BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Look out for sunbathing turtles on your next trip to the Inner Harbor.
The Waterfront Partnership has installed a 100-square-foot turtle island in a canal along Lancaster Street. There, the partnership said, passerby will see dozens of turtles hanging out.READ MORE: Two Teenagers Shot, One Killed, At Inner Harbor During Memorial Day Weekend, Police Say
Turtles have previously been seen clinging to logs, trash, and derelict booms in the harbor. The island is an attempt to recreate a basking habitat that used to be provided by shoreline trees of the harbor.
The constructed island also provides shallow water habitat for sleeping turtles and a marsh habitat for young and hatchling turtles, the habitat said.
The project was done in partnership with the National Aquarium, Clearwater Mills, and Living Classrooms Foundation. It was installed the Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative.READ MORE: Jarrettsville Young Marines Honor Fallen Heroes, Prepare For Memorial Day
“Prior to European arrival, this canal would have been tidal marsh habitat supporting a variety of species,” said Jack Cover, general curator at the National Aquarium. “Many of the species are still here and, though we’re not going to transform this highly urbanized environment back to a pristine state, we can install constructed habitats to help fill that void. The National Aquarium is proud to partner with Waterfront Partnership and are excited that this endeavor will provide Baltimore residents the opportunity to get acquainted with native species in their own backyard.”
Turtles emerge from hibernation in the spring to begin to feed and reproduce, activities that require higher body temperatures. The partnership said basking activity is heaviest in the spring.
The presence of a basking habitat gives them a head start on their active season, which is in the spring, summer and fall.MORE NEWS: Baltimore City And Surrounding Communities Experiencing High Community Transmission Of COVID-19