Middle Branch Resiliency Initiative is underway!

Middle Branch resiliency Project
Middle Branch with skyline

Earlier this year, GreenVest began work on a project in Baltimore City’s outer harbor that will set immense social and environmental impact into motion. After years of planning, building partnerships, and engaging stakeholders, we are incredibly proud to have the first element of the Middle Branch Resiliency Initiative (MBRI) underway. The MBRI is a comprehensive set of shoreline protection, marsh re-establishment, and stormwater management projects located throughout the Middle Branch shoreline. The MBRI will generate community resilience to climate change and sea level rise in several neighborhoods in South Baltimore, which have complex histories fraught with environmental and economic challenges. The project will also generate significant water quality and habitat improvements while providing opportunities for recreation and education. GreenVest is undertaking this ambitious initiative in partnership with South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP), Baltimore City, Baltimore County, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Port Administration, GreenTrust Alliance, and local Baltimore businesses, stakeholders, and citizens.

The MBRI’s first project will be initiated at the mouth of the Patapsco River—Site 5a—and includes 12.5 acres of re-established coastal marsh and over a half-mile of shoreline stabilization. This project will deliver cost-effective MS4 compliance to Baltimore City in addition to providing community resilience, recreation, education, and wildlife habitat benefits. The MBRI Demonstration Project will re-establish the transitional shoreline and marsh landscape which was lost through decades of industrialization and development. The Project will provide climate resilience by buffering against coastal storm damage, to nearby business, homes, and infrastructure. This nature-based solution will improve water quality in the Middle Branch and the Chesapeake Bay by eliminating shoreline erosion and re-establishing functional coastal marsh that filters, uses, and sequesters harmful excess nutrients out of open water fueling sustainable ecological process.

Middle branch drone photography

Drone photographing Middle Branch

The improvement in wildlife habitat, water quality, and aesthetic value of Site 5a coupled with planned recreational access will become a natural amenity for residents and visitors. The re-established aquatic habitat will provide opportunities for passive recreation including kayaking and bird watching, along with environmental education supporting the sense of place sought under the Re-Imagine Middle Branch Plan. Planned future stages of the MBRI will continue to build upon this vision of ecology, community engagement, and recreation that will be transformative for South Baltimore.

It is a privilege to begin the work of re-establishing aquatic habitats lost to centuries of intensive industrial activity while generating resilience and supporting environmental and community wealth in South Baltimore. GreenVest is excited to continue working with our local Baltimore partners and stakeholders as we embark on this exciting journey together. Our South Baltimore office will serve as home base for GV’s MBRI operations. You can read more about the project here: City of Baltimore Press Release, CBS Baltimore, and The Baltimore Sun. We look forward to providing additional updates as the initiative continues!