LTER Roadtrip – Baltimore’s Waterways are Getting Salty

Dan Dillon, Ben Glass-Siegel, Nate Vandiver, and I stood at the edge of a Baltimore road. Cars whizzed by overhead as Glass-Siegel and Vandiver picked their way through dense grass to the river running swiftly beneath the bridge, the blades swishing against their long pants as they blazed a path to the rocky shoreline. Glass-Siegel knelt at the edge of the water, swapping out a water quality sensor while their intern Vandiver took down information on a data sheet.

Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER (BES-LTER) researchers have been recording water quality data here since 1998, comparing the results from waterways in forested, agricultural, and urban environments. Over time, they have recorded increased levels of chloride, one of the compounds found in salt. And it’s no mystery where the excess salt is coming from: people put it there.

Baltimore Ecosystem Study

Read the entire blog on the LTER website!

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