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Field Tours & Socials

Field Tours

MAXIMUM PARTICIPANTS REACHED: Stream Restoration and BMPs in the Baltimore Area

On this Compact Thousand Year Flood Zone Mitigation Planning and Deep BMP Implementation tour, a bus will take the group to sites in Baltimore and Ellicott City which each experienced two, thousand-year floods in the span of a few years. Landscape morphology and human modification conspired with several highly localized, brief and intense storm events to flood a neighborhood in Baltimore and the main street in Ellicott City, sweeping and destroying hundreds of cars and flooding property, twice only years apart.  The sites present a neighboring dichotomy, one in which planning and implementation is currently underway with massive and innovative flood control projects, including sub-street grade storage & multiple stream restorations, and one which is not. Sites will be narrated by the drivers of the neighborhood efforts as well as the managers of the flood mitigation efforts and stream restoration designers. PBS video on the flooding can be viewed here.

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Baltimore Aquarium Tour

The National Aquarium strives to connect people with nature to drive conservation action for the benefit of people, animals, and the planet. The National Aquarium’s mission—to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures—begins within the walls of our buildings, but it does not end there. We protect, enhance, and restore natural resources through education and engagement, habitat restoration, animal rescue and sustainable business practices. In this behind the scene tour, learn about their sustainable sourcing of food, energy consumption, visit their green roof, and learn of their efforts to combat climate change and reduce habitat loss and plastic pollution.

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MAXIMUM PARTICIPANTS REACHED: Hart-Miller Island Ecological Restoration Boat Tour

A boat operated by the Maryland Port Administration/Maryland Environmental Service will take the group to a wetland restoration project built out of three formerly disappearing Chesapeake Bay islands: Hart, Miller and Pleasure.  Using dredge material from the Baltimore Ship Channel approaches, Hart-Miller is now a State Park with extensive interior non-tidal wetlands which support significant migratory bird habitat. A bus will tour the group around the island to detail its many features, ending at a beach prior to the boat trip back to Baltimore.


Picture source: MD Dept of Natural Resources

MAXIMUM PARTICIPANTS REACHED: Oyster Reef Restoration: Carroll Island Francis Scott Key Bridge

This boat tour will pass by Fort McHenry and the spot marked where Francis Key was held by the British and penned the National Anthem. The oyster reef restoration project is located less than an hour cruise by the Key Bridge and Fort Carroll, an abandoned constructed island fort built by Robert Lee before the Civil War as an Army Corp of Engineers Project. This unique oyster reef restoration is a cooperative collaboration of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership, which sources shell from local restaurants and rears oyster spat in the inner harbor. An oyster dredge may be pulled on site to identify the infaunal invertebrate and fish community.

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Picture sourced from Peter May, UMD, of the Living Classrooms boats for navigation to the oyster reef site.

Baltimore Harbor Eco-technology Walking Tour

This walking tour will be hosted and led by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, which has funded several of the projects. The tour will begin in the basement of our conference location at UMD’s IMET touring the “Cadillac” of recirculating aquaculture systems, including an anaerobic digestion system for waste treatment. Within the Harbor, several innovative types of floating wetlands, including the Aquarium “bubbler,” will be highlighted. Other technologies includethe Navy grade marine aluminum “cruiser” and the French designed Biohut bulkhead suspended oyster reefs modules supporting post larval juvenile fish and invertebrates. The tour will visit the Great Baltimore Oyster Recovery Partnership volunteer managed oyster spat “cultch” rearing cells, a musical/art stormwater children’s park, and the famous Mr. Trash Wheel solar and hydro powered automated floatable debris conveyor collector barge.  Too much eco-tech for you? We didn’t think so.

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Picture sourced from Peter May, UMD, of Mr. Trash Wheel on the Baltimore Harbor


Social Dinner | June 21st (6:00-9:00pm)

After a day of presentations, join us for food, drinks, and live music. Enjoy local drinks from local breweries, with a  cash bar when the kegs run dry. 

Baseball Game and Picnic | June 22nd (Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles at 7pm)

After an afternoon of field tours, join us for evening at the ball park for a social/networking outing. Picnic menu includes all you can eat hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn, peanuts, salad, nachos, soda, and water until the 7th inning. The Camden Yards Ballpark can be reached by the free Charm City Circulator (orange route), which is a 21-minute route from the Tru Hilton, or you can walk directly, which is a 29-minute walk

American Visionary Art Museum Guided Tour | June 23rd (3:30-5:00pm)

Rated one of the best museums on the East Coast. The AVAM specializes in original thematic exhibitions that seamlessly combine art, science, philosophy, humor and especially social justice and betterment. To get to the AVAM from IMET, you can take a free boat ride and arrive in 16 minutes, or you can walk around the Inner Harbor and arrive in 25 minutes by foot.

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