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Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore

Maintenance of harbor channels and navigation aids began early. Dredging in the harbor can be traced back as far as 1783, when the Ellicott brothers excavated the bottom at their wharf in the Inner Harbor. In 1790 the state government began systematic dredging using a "mud machine", which used a horse-drawn drag bucket, later upgraded with steam power. In 1825 Sen. Sam Smith of Maryland petitioned Congress for federal funding for this work.At this time Congress was smarting from the incursions of the War of 1812 and had determined to expand naval defenses. In Baltimore it led to the misconceived construction of Fort Carroll, but federal dredging appropriations preceded that project, beginning in 1830. This first project was completed in 1838. In the 1850s a second dredging project was undertaken, this time under Capt. Henry Brewerton, who was also in charge of the Fort Carroll project. He excavated a straight channel from Sparrows Point out to the mouth of the Patapsco near Seven Foot Knoll Light, which was erected in 1855; this channel, known today as the Brewerton Channel, continues to be the central link in the path into the harbor


Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore[1], Baltimore, Maryland, consists of seaport facilities for cargo, especially roll-on/roll-off ships, and passengers operated by the Maryland Port Administration (MPA),[2] a unit of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

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