NOAA 2002-R118
Contact: Gordon Helm, Jennifer Koss
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, USN (ret.), director of the nation's top science agency for oceans and the atmosphere, will lead 60 volunteers from the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the annual tidal wetland restoration at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore's inner harbor on Saturday, April 13. This is the third consecutive year that NOAA employees have helped in the restoration project.

Created in 1985, and managed by the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the 10-acre Fort McHenry wetland is a highly visible site and serves as a living exhibit of habitat restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. It is one of the few tidal wetlands in Baltimore harbor, and provides a unique opportunity to study how a man-made wetland functions over time and it is used to educate and connect city dwellers to stewardship of their environment.

"The Chesapeake Bay is in NOAA's backyard," said Vice Admiral Lautenbacher, NOAA Administrator. "NOAA as a family is committed to getting volunteers working in the community to help conserve and restore valuable habitats like this local wetland. It's been a pleasure working with Aquarium staff these past three years and seeing the fruits of our labor realized."

"I've enjoyed partnering with the Aquarium and Morgan State University to train students in the science of wetland restoration and monitoring," said Bill Hogarth, NOAA Fisheries director, and one of the NOAA volunteers for Saturday's outing. "It is through meaningful partnerships and experiences like this that we are developing tomorrow's environmental leaders."

EDITOR'S NOTE: NOAA employees, family members and some friends will gather at the Fort McHenry site at 9:45 a.m. and embark upon day-long activities of removing and cataloguing debris from the wetland, and transplanting marsh plants including big cordgrass, salt bush and groundsel tree. Among those spending Saturday volunteering their services are Scott Gudes, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Mary Glackin, Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA's Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Services. Jennifer Koss of NOAA Fisheries will be on site to assist media.

The wetland restoration event is a partnership between the NOAA Restoration Center in NOAA Fisheries and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. For more information on the NOAA Restoration Center see:

Fort McHenry, a late 18th century star-shaped fort, is world famous as the birthplace of the United States' national anthem. The guardian of Baltimore's harbor, it was the valiant defense of Fort McHenry by American forces during a British attack on September 13-14, 1814, that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner. The Fort became an area administered by the National Park Service in 1933, two years after Key's poem became this country's national anthem. Of all the areas in the National Park System, Fort McHenry is the only one designated a national monument and historic shrine. For more information, visit:

NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving out nation's living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit