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!