Inspired by experimental wetlands placed in the harbor two years ago, local "marina magnate" Dan Naor has proposed what he believes could be a critical step in helping to clean up the foul smelling and trash-strewn environment in which he runs his businesses, reports Timothy Wheeler. He would like to build floating beds of rosemallow, sea lavender and salt grass in water that he controls, along with a walkway and viewing platforms.
According to Wheeler, it's this last element that has federal, state and city officials concerned. "Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said state officials generally favor building floating wetlands, but want to avoid or minimize any environmental impacts from building piers and platforms over the water.""'It's a neat concept,' said Thomas J. Stosur, the city's planning director. But City Hall wants to be sure the harbor's first large floating wetland is done in a way that doesn't interfere with continued development of the Inner Harbor waterfront."