by Alicia Pimental
August 01, 2006
Local governments and community-based organizations throughout the Bay watershed will have help funding local Chesapeake Bay and river restoration projects, thanks to over $2.6 million in grants provided by the Bay Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Some of the 68 projects funded through the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program this year include:
- Planting vegetative buffers around poultry farms on the Delmarva Peninsula, which will slow runoff and absorb nutrients before they enter Bay tributaries.
- A community awareness campaign in Annapolis, Md., to educate local residents of the link between lifestyle and the health of Spa Creek.
- Offering a per-acre incentive for farmers in Perry County, Pa., to plant cover crops for the first time or in impaired watersheds.
- An education and training program in Virginia Beach, Va., for homeowners and lawn care providers on the importance of rain gardens and native vegetation, and techniques to reduce pollution into the Lynnhaven River.
- Installation of living shorelines in Edgewater, Salisbury and Centreville, Md., and in Cape Charles, Va., to reduce shoreline erosion and promote natural habitats for aquatic life.
Together, the recipients of this year's Small Watershed Grants will have a measurable effect on Bay restoration throughout the watershed.
Projects will protect or manage approximately 2,600 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat, including wetlands, oyster reefs and underwater grasses.
Grant recipients will plant more than five miles of forest buffers and restore an additional 21 miles of streams that drain into the Bay.
Approximately 10,000 volunteers will participate in the projects, while 47,000 citizens will be educated through outreach materials.
In the past nine years, the Small Watershed Grants Program has provided $17.7 million to support 544 projects throughout the Bay watershed. These grants have been used by recipients to leverage an additional $50.7 million from other funding sources, resulting in over $67 million in support of local community watershed restoration efforts since 1998.
Primary funding for the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program Office. Additional funding partners include the USDA Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.