Launching the first comprehensive study of pollution damage to the Herring Run waterway system in Northeast Baltimore, the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $35,000 grant to monitor the stream system for a year.
Herring Run Watershed Association was one of 19 Maryland organizations that received federal money from the Chesapeake Bay Program's Small Watershed Grants Program, said Michael Fine of the office of Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat.
Among other grants:
The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management will receive $32,600 for a one-year project involving landscape practices in small watersheds.
The Gunpowder Watershed Coalition will receive $18,250 for its Education 2000 program to create stronger support for protection and preservation of the Gunpowder Watershed.
Richard Hersey, executive director of Herring Run Watershed Association, said the project would break new ground. "It's our first EPA small watershed grant."
The project will examine how urban growth has affected the stream, Hersey said. Erosion in the area's ballpark is one result, he said, but only a systematic study will show other effects.
The system copes, Hersey said, but the level and source of contamination is not clear.
The study, which calls for 26 volunteers to check biological and chemical conditions at key points of the stream's junctions, will yield data for a geographical computer mapping system, Hersey said.
Volunteers will be trained and asked to report data every other week.