BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today join leaders of the growing non-profit organization Barrels by the Bay, middle school students participating in The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s summer camp and Zoo Conservation Club members for a unique conservation project. Together, they decorated rain barrels that will be placed throughout the city to help reduce the surges of stormwater runoff and flooding that are so harmful to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Part of the first round painted by Baltimore-area students, the rain barrels completed on Friday are retrofitted syrup barrels that were donated by Coca-Cola Enterprises in Baltimore. They can collect more than a quarter-million gallons of stormwater runoff in the coming year alone.
“The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has a long history of finding new ways to reach young people with lessons in wildlife protection, and Barrels by the Bay is building a strong track record of teaching students hands-on lessons in conservation,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “I appreciated the opportunity to thank the students participating in this innovative program and, more importantly, got the chance to help their efforts. By taking part in summer activities like these to help the Chesapeake Bay, these students are expanding their knowledge and improving our communities at the same time.”
“The Maryland Zoo is always happy to partner with like-minded conservation organizations, and the opportunity to assist Barrels by the Bay came along at the perfect time,” said Don Hutchinson, president/CEO of the Zoo. “Our summer camp program is all about learning the role zoos play in protecting animal species found throughout the zoo, and how each individual can help. Rain barrels are a perfect example of people taking responsibility to conserve our natural resources on a very local level. We couldn’t be more pleased to see this program in action.”
“We are excited to kick-off our program in Baltimore at the Zoo and be joined by Senator Cardin,” said Elizabeth Rosenberger, Executive Director of Barrels by the Bay. “The summer camp participants, as well as the hundreds of students participating this upcoming school year and their educators, are helping fulfill Barrels by the Bay’s mission. We encourage community members to learn more about our vision moving forward on the web and how they can get involved.”