At a Glance

A 15-mile water trail provides Baltimore residents and paddlers with new opportunities to experience the City’s diverse waterfronts.

Project Description

With support from Biohabitats in 2010, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore (WPB), launched the “Healthy Harbor Initiative” to make Baltimore Harbor safe for recreation. WPB then collaborated with Biohabitats and other partners to implement strategies to improve the Harbor’s water quality. When it improved to the point where the Harbor could be used for recreation, WPB turned to Biohabitats for help in creating a water trail along its edges. Envisioned as an outdoor recreation and tourism asset, the “Baltimore Blueway” is a network of water trails and public access points for non-motorized craft that will connect cultural, historic, and natural sites.

Biohabitats began by evaluating 15 miles of waterfront to explore the trail’s potential. This included desktop and field assessments to characterize existing and potential access, rest stops, and routes. Biohabitats and WPB engaged with a project advisory team, as well as paddlers, outdoor enthusiasts, and residents, to obtain feedback and insight regarding access points, attractions, and hazards. Biohabitats also evaluated the project in the context of concurrent waterfront improvement projects.

Biohabitats then prepared the Baltimore Blueway Plan, which presented evaluation findings, proposed water trail routes and access points, proposed enhancements, and estimated costs and permitting requirements. The Plan also included an Executive Summary and recommendations for executing the project in ways that continue to improve residents’ access to the city’s waterfront and its ecology.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province



Patapsco River

Expertise Areas

Coastal, Conservation


Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore


Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Project Team
  • Toole Design
  • REJ Associates