FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aja Sae-Kung
News Releases 2005
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The director of the nation’s top science agency for oceans and the atmosphere, Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., will lead 100 volunteers from the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the annual tidal wetland restoration at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore’s inner harbor on Saturday, April 16. This is the sixth year that NOAA employees have volunteered in the restoration project.
Created as tidal marsh 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. It is also a wonderful classroom for educating and connecting city dwellers to be stewards of their environment.
"The NOAA family is committed to helping restore precious resources here in our backyard and across the country. On Earth Day 2004, the President issued a directive to protect and restore three million acres of wetlands,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “As we approach the anniversary of his announcement, I'm proud to follow his call to join with community-based volunteers to help meet this goal. It has been a pleasure to work with the Aquarium staff over the years and to begin seeing the fruits of our labor."
The wetland restoration event is a partnership between the NOAA Restoration Center in the NOAA Fisheries Service, NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services and National Geodetic Survey in NOAA’s Ocean and Coasts Service and the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
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.
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.
NOAA's CO-OPS is dedicated to providing the nation with water level and tide information; and NGS is responsible for the nation's spatial reference system.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NOAA employees, family and friends will gather at the Fort McHenry site at 8:45 a.m. to embark upon day-long activities of removing and cataloguing debris from the wetland, and transplanting trees. Jennifer Koss of NOAA Fisheries Service will be on site to assist media.
On the Web:
NOAA Restoration Center: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration/
McHenry Wetlands: http://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm