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Nearly $11M in grants to clean up Chesapeake Bay Watershed, with $3M going to Md. projects

Nearly $11M in grants to clean up Chesapeake Bay Watershed, with $3M going to Md. projects (MGN)

BALTIMORE (WBFF) – Nearly $11 million in grants has been awarded for restoration, conservation and environmental outreach efforts in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed which stretches across 64,000 square miles.

Those grants, announced by the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, extend to 39 projects throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia, and leverage over $12 million in matching funds. Nearly $3 million divided by 13 grant recipients have been announced for projects in Maryland that strive to clean up the bay.

The Environmental Protection Agency is "proud to support efforts across the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed to both improve local rivers and streams and benefit the broader Bay ecosystem” said spokesman Shawn M. Garvin. “The nearly $11 million being awarded to these 39 projects, including more than $9.5 million from EPA, helps enhance state and local restoration efforts aimed at providing lasting local benefits for water quality improvement. These grants are also critical in supporting Pennsylvania’s renewed commitment to get back on track through the “reboot” of the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Strategy.”

Some examples of how the grant money will be spent include increasing local engagement to encourage restoration actions by farms, homeowners, churches and businesses, as well as implementing innovative programs to reduce or eliminate the flow of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution into local bodies of water and the Chesapeake Bay, and improving habitat conservation.

Here are more details on Maryland grant recipients which were released by the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund:

• Sustainable Chesapeake ($626,834) will engage stakeholders throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed in a comprehensive approach focused on achieving farm and regional nutrient (especially phosphorus) balance in high-density animal production areas, leading to annual edge-of-stream nutrient and sediment reductions of 3,328,800 pounds per year of nitrogen, 124,564 pounds per year of phosphorus, and 30,048 tons per year of sediment.

• Low Impact Development Center, Inc. ($609,454) will retrofit five churches and one municipally owned property in Prince George’s County with enhanced micro-bioretention facilities, supporting the County’s innovative Clean Water Program (CWP) in its efforts to escalate the retrofit of uncontrolled urban development, and enabling the CWP to evaluate the effectiveness of enhanced best management practices (BMPs) for use in highly urbanized/impervious settings where space for BMP installation is limited.

• National Wildlife Federation ($200,000) will install a large-scale demonstration schoolyard habitat at Green Street Academy, an eight-acre campus uniquely situated in Southwest Baltimore, and at nine additional schools, creating a network of schoolyard habitats throughout Baltimore, as well as engage a cohort of 20 teachers and 10 facilities managers at a series of workshops where participants will learn the need for and benefits of taking action to improve habitat and water quality for wildlife.

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2016 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grant Slate, click here.

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