National Wildlife Week: Baltimore Community Habitat Steps Up for a Healthy Bay

We all know that Baltimore is for the birds, and NWF and the National Aquarium, its Maryland affiliate, have teamed up to help Baltimore “B’More Wild”— aiming to create the largest NWF Certified Community Wildlife Habitat along the Chesapeake Bay.

Baltimore is well on its way to becoming a certified community. In the past two years, more than 300 homes have been certified attracting birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The more native plantings are used to attract wildlife, the greater potential there is for reaching the city’s Healthy Harbor goals and helping to clean the Chesapeake Bay.

Baltimore Oriole by Lynn Cleveland

Maryland’s handsome state bird, the Baltimore oriole. Photo by Lynn Cleveland.

The community also has a chance to step up for clean water. By creating certified community rain gardens to help filter water runoff from city streets, residents can reduce the amount of pesticides and fertilizers and other pollutants that enter the Chesapeake Bay. Such pollution can feed toxic algal blooms that can make humans ill and impair fish, blue crabs and other aquatic wildlife.

To help protect our waters nationwide, the National Aquarium is asking people to pledge to protect and conserve water from Earth Day on April 22 through World Oceans Day on June 8. The actions taken can be as simple as giving up using plastic water bottles and bags to turning off the tap when brushing your teeth.

Baltimore residents can learn more about this project at www.facebook.com/bmorewild and how to certify their yards at www.aqua.org/certify.  Anyone can take the pledge to help our blue planet at 48daysofblue.com.

Baltimore was recently named one of the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife as part of the National Wildlife Week 2015 Celebration. Did your city make the grade?

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