City streams are subjected to a constant onslaught of synthetic chemicals found in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to filter out these compounds. Instead, they flow into surface waters where they impact aquatic organisms like microbes – which perform key ecosystem services like removing excess nutrients and breaking down leaf litter.
Mosquito-borne diseases pose a growing risk to public health in urban areas. Asian tiger mosquitoes are a vector of high concern as they thrive in cities, live in close association with people, and can reproduce in very small pools of water.
Baltimore’s harbor is cleaner than it has been in decades thanks to the efforts of two solar- and hydro-powered trash interceptors built to look like googly-eyed cartoon characters. In fact, they are known as Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel.