Port of Baltimore’s Masonville Cove Wins Environmental Award

September 23, 2019

An award from the American Association of Port Authorities honored the decade of community outreach and involvement at Masonville Cove, shown here during a 2013 clean-up. (Bill McAllen/MDOT Maryland Port Administration)

Honor Recognizes 10 Years of Community Outreach and Education


Patch, Baltimore, MD by Port of Baltimore – September 19, 2019 – The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has honored the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) for its 10-year stewardship of community education and outreach programs at Masonville Cove, the urban wildlife habitat area along the banks of the Patapsco River. An MDOT MPA entry, “Masonville Cove: A Decade of Dedication,” was recognized with an Award of Distinction in the Stakeholder Awareness, Education & Involvement category in the 2019 AAPA Environmental Improvement Awards. The award will be presented next month at the AAPA convention in Norfolk, Va.

“This is wonderful news for all of the parties involved in this project,” said Kristen Fidler, MDOT MPA director of harbor development. “In addition to its role as a dredge material site for channel sediment, Masonville Cove has been an important environmental asset, with features and programs that continue to be utilized by local communities.”

The award recognizes outreach and educational programming at Masonville Cove by MDOT MPA and its partners, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Aquarium and the Living Classrooms Foundation. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center, which serves as a gateway to environmental education opportunities on the campus.

For decades, Masonville Cove was the former home of Kurt Iron and Metal and the Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. A massive environmental restoration effort, part of the construction of the Masonville Dredged Material Containment Facility, was completed in 2008. More than 61,000 tons of trash and debris dating back to the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 were cleared from the site.

In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated Masonville Cove as the nation’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. Today, the nationally-recognized refuge includes walking trails, a fishing pier and the Environmental Education Center. The Living Classrooms Foundation and National Aquarium in Baltimore provide programs at the center that are attended by about 2,000 students annually. Some of the community outreach programs and milestones over the past 10 years at Masonville Cove include:

  • Reaching 35,000 students through in-school programming or events at Masonville Cove,
  • Donation of more than 20,000 hours by 4,000 volunteers for shoreline cleanups and plantings,
  • Creation of 8,300 feet of walking trails and restoration of 72 acres of habitat,
  • Identification of 230 bird species and 222 plant and animal species on campus, and
  • Serving as home to Captain Trash Wheel, which has removed more than 11 tons of floatable debris.

Among the nation’s ports, the Port of Baltimore ranks first for autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, imported sugar and imported gypsum. It ranks 11th among major U.S. ports for cargo handled and ninth nationally for total cargo value.

In 2018, a record 43 million tons of international cargo was handled by the combined state-owned and privately-owned marine terminals at The Port. The value of that cargo was also a benchmark: $59.7 billion. Last year the state-owned public terminals handled a record 10.9 million tons of general cargo and more than a million TEU containers. The Port also handled a record 850,147 cars and light trucks in 2018, the most in the U.S. for the eighth consecutive year.

The Port of Baltimore generates about 15,330 direct jobs, with more than 139,180 jobs overall linked to Port activities. The average salary for people with direct jobs at the Port is 9.5 percent higher than the average annual wage in Maryland. The Port is responsible for nearly $3.3 billion in personal wages and salaries, $2.6 billion in business revenues and $395 million in state and local tax revenues.

Source: https://patch.com/maryland/baltimore/port-baltimores-masonville-cove-wins-environmental-award