BGE and Constellation Employee Volunteers Team Up with the Waterfront Partnership and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to Support the Healthy Harbor Initiative and the Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership

Volunteers transferred nearly 22,000 oysters from the Inner Harbor oyster gardens to a reef near Fort Carroll as part of the efforts to bring Chesapeake Bay Foundation closer to a swimmable, fishable Harbor by 2020

BGE Oyster Partnership 2 BGE volunteer Stephanie Leach prepares to plant the oysters from the Inner Harbor oyster gardens that she tended to for nine months in a reef in near Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River. The oysters planted in the reef will filter more than 1 million gallons of water per day, improving the health and water quality of the Harbor.

BALTIMORE, July 28, 2014 – In support of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership, employee volunteers from Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) and Constellation have been tending to five oyster gardens in the Inner Harbor over the past nine months. Recently, the volunteers spent the afternoon pulling nearly 22,000 oysters from the gardens and planting them on a reef near Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River. Volunteers from BGE and Constellation were also joined by volunteers from T. Rowe Price as they transferred the oysters to their new location, where they will help to filter more than 1 million gallons of water a day, helping to improve the water quality of the Harbor. The Healthy Harbor Initiative and the Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership support efforts to bring the Chesapeake Bay Foundation closer to a swimmable, fishable Harbor by 2020.

“BGE has a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship, and we understand how vital our support of the Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership and the Healthy Harbor Initiative is to the health of the Harbor and waterways across central Maryland,” said John Quinn, governmental and legislative affairs director for BGE. “It has been a great experience tending to the oyster gardens over the last nine months, watching them thrive and survive and then planting them in the reef, and seeing first-hand the positive affect the Healthy Harbor initiatives are having on the Harbor. We are proud to work closely with organizations and environmental groups, like the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to preserve and protect the environment, and improve the quality of life for our customer

Volunteers from BGE, Constellation and T.Rowe Price pull nearly 22,000 oysters from the five Inner Harbor oyster gardens they have been tending to over the past nine months to plant them on a reef near Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River.

s in the communities we serve.”

Volunteers from BGE, Constellation and T.Rowe Price pull nearly 22,000 oysters from the five Inner Harbor oyster gardens they have been tending to over the past nine months to plant them on a reef near Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River. The partnership supports the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership. The efforts are part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s goal of creating a swimmable, fishable Harbor by 2020.
The Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership is a cooperative effort between the Waterfront Partnership, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and local businesses. Participating businesses include BGE, Constellation, Brown Advisory, Legg Mason, and T.Rowe Price. The businesses have each sponsored an oyster garden and have employee volunteers who build, maintain and manage the oyster cages throughout the year.
This past October, leaders and volunteers from these local businesses, along with students from Digital Harbor High School and The Green School of Baltimore, planted five oyster gardens around the Inner Harbor, containing nearly 40,000 caged spat (baby oysters), with the goal to grow them until they were mature enough to survive in the wild. Releasing the oysters at Fort Carroll will help to filter and improve the water quality of the Harbor. Volunteers cleaned and tended to the oysters over the course of the nine months, helping to assist their development and growth while protected in the gardens. While oysters in the wild often see only one percent survival rate due to predation and low oxygen levels, the spat grown by Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership maintained a 70 percent survival rate and increased 40 percent in size.
After tending to oysters in the Inner Harbor oyster gardens for nine months, BGE volunteer Melissa Cheek plants the oysters in a reef near Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River. The oysters planted in the reef will filter more than 1 million gallons of water per day, improving the health and water quality of the Harbor.

As part of its commitment to building strong communities in central Maryland, BGE supports environmental enhancement initiatives like the Healthy Harbor Initiative and the Healthy Harbor Oyster Partnership.  In 2013 alone, BGE employees, friends and family logged more than 25,000 hours volunteering with more than 135 different community organizations. Equivalent to 12 years of full-time service, these volunteer efforts offer BGE’s nonprofit partners the opportunity to reinvest resources and better serve communities throughout central Maryland. To learn more about BGE’s commitment to the environment, philanthropic giving and volunteer support, visit bge.com/giving

To view photos from the event, visit BGE’s Flickr site