The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's RestoreCorp: Watershed Restoration Assistance Center, in partnership with Constellation Energy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, on Nov. 10 wrapped up a three-year, 75-acre riparian forest buffer-planting project in the greater Baltimore region.
The project began in 2005, at Moores Run in northeast Baltimore city. The Herring Run Watershed Association was a partner in that initial phase. Over the three years, other partners included the Prettyboy Watershed Alliance at Leister Park in Hampstead and the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy at Cloverland Farms.
The trees planted along waterways are expected to sequester nitrogen and 4-4.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per acre, per year. In addition to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, these buffers will improve the quality of water that ultimately empties into the Chesapeake.
"Three years ago, when we first committed to supporting this project, we felt it was a valuable step toward improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay while also mitigating greenhouse gas emissions," said Paul J. Allen, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Constellation Energy and its chief environmental officer. "We still believe this is an important project that will pay environmental dividends for years to come.
"The Chesapeake Bay is Maryland's most important natural resource and Constellation has been proud to support the Alliance's efforts to improve its quality while also addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Constellation Energy continues to be committed to the proper care of the environment and will continue to look for the right opportunities such as this one where we can strongly support environmental stewardship efforts."
David Bancroft, president of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, said that the grant from Constellation Energy has allowed the organization to actively involve local citizens in Bay restoration and preservation efforts through hands-on tree planting programs that extend across the state.
RestoreCorps provides project leadership, technical assistance, education, training and networking opportunities for restoration projects.
Since 1991, the program, along with more than 10,000 volunteers, has helped to install 41 BayScapes gardens, rain gardens and green roofs. It has also trained more than 2,500 citizens in restoration and monitoring techniques; planted 55,000 trees; monitored 414 stream and river sites; and collected 122 tons of trash.