Interpretive Point #8

#8 The tiny stream in front of you is one of the branches of Herbert Run. It begins in the far corner of CERA from a spring-fed wetland, and quickly gathers enough water so that the streambed never entirely dries up, even in a severe drought. Water is the basis for life, and the stream bed is home to microscopic algae, bacteria, protozoa, and even a few insects. These organisms form the basis of an aquatic food chain different from that of the surrounding forest. Down river, where the stream is a bit wider and deeper, life will be more diverse, including fish, amphibians and a variety of invertebrates. The UMBC campus contains four arms of the Herbert Run, all of which join near the southern border of campus. Herbert Run flows for about 3 miles through the communities of Arbutus and Halethorpe before joining the much larger Patapsco River near tidewater. The Patapsco forms Baltimore's harbor and then enters the Chesapeake Bay. All great things have modest beginnings!