Thirty-four environmental projects in all six Chesapeake Bay states and the District of Columbia have been awarded more than $3.4 million to help reduce pollution to local streams, creeks and rivers and the Bay.
The funding for the projects was awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program, which provides grants to nonprofit organizations and local governments working to improve the condition of their local watershed.
The 2010 grant recipients will develop conservation plans in both urban and rural settings, preserve valuable natural lands and implement on-the-ground and in-the-water restoration practices throughout the Bay watershed. Many of the projects will use social media campaigns to fully engage their local community in restoration and conservation efforts.
“Clean water is important to every community, so it’s vital that these projects will occur in all six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia,” said Shawn Garvin, regional administrator for U.S. EPA Region 3.
Some examples of the types of projects funded include:
Large-scale installations of rain gardens and rain barrels
Stormwater retrofits and green building designs at schools and urban buildings
An “Extreme Stream Makeover” restoration project
A social and educational outreach program to educate citizens about conservation easements
Efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farms into local streams
The 2010 Small Watershed Grants were announced at Dundalk Veterans Park near Baltimore, Md. The announcement event highlighted the “Trees for Neighborhoods” initiative led by the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management. Baltimore County is using its $50,000 grant to educate homeowners about the benefits of planting trees as a way to reduce polluted runoff.
“From planting more trees in urban areas to improving wildlife habitat and minimizing stormwater runoff, these grants result in partnerships that help restore and protect the Bay,” said Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Since 2000, more than $27 million in Small Watershed Grants has supported 626 projects around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These projects have leveraged close to $90 million in local matching funds for a total on-the-ground restoration investment of more than $115 million.
The Small Watershed Grants program is funded primarily by the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program with additional support in 2010 from the U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the District of Columbia Department of the Environment, Altria and FedEx. The grants are administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
”This program is an example of a truly effective public-private partnership that delivers funding to high-impact, on-the-ground restoration projects in communities throughout the region,” said Amanda Bassow, acting director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Eastern Partnership Office.
Visit www.nfwf.org/chesapeake for more information about the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program and a full list of this year’s grant recipients.