The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will provide $4 million in grants to local governments to help reduce pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The Local Government Green Infrastructure Initiative will create grants of up to $750,000 to support local governments as they implement the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, a “pollution diet” that sets limits on the amount of harmful nutrients and sediment that can enter the Bay.
The grants will support the design and implementation of projects that use green infrastructure – such as road maintenance programs and flood plain management – to produce measureable improvements in the health of local waterways. Through the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Committee, local government representatives can share best practices and evolving strategies to achieve water quality goals.
The EPA will select localities that represent the diverse characteristics of local governments throughout the Bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, including rural counties, predominantly agricultural communities, rapidly growing suburban localities, small cities and major urban municipalities.
NFWF will administer the grants through its Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. Since 2000, the fund has provided $68.9 million in grants for more than 700 projects throughout the Bay watershed.
For more information about this and other grant opportunities, visit NFWF’s website.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has proposed more than $52 million for Chesapeake Bay restoration in fiscal year 2013, nearly double last year’s allotted amount. The money would fund the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, which supports projects that reduce polluted runoff and other types of nonpoint source pollution to the Bay and its rivers.
The trust fund provides dedicated funding for the most cost-efficient restoration practices, targeted in areas where pollution reductions will be most effective. It is made up of money generated through motor fuel and rental car taxes.
Since its creation in 2007, the trust fund has provided $58 million for pollution reduction projects throughout Maryland. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), this funding has prevented more than 3.5 million pounds of nitrogen, more than 330,000 pounds of phosphorus and more than 470 tons of sediment from entering local streams, creeks, rivers and the Bay.
Some restoration highlights for the proposed funding include:
For more information about the proposed funding, including a county-by-county breakdown of funding and a complete 2013 workplan, visit Maryland DNR’s website.