by Alicia Pimental
June 01, 2006
At announcement ceremonies in Harrisburg and Annapolis on May 2, ten watershed-based partnerships were awarded grants ranging from of $500,000 to $1 million to help improve the quality of local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.
To help support local organizations restoring the Bay, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Trust provided $7.7 million to help reduce pollution reaching the Bay from agricultural and suburban lands.
Projects include managing nutrient runoff from manure through precision feeding and identifying markets for manure as fertilizer; integrating farm stewardship with ecosystem restoration activities; and implementing various “low-impact development” and “social marketing” approaches to address urban/suburban stormwater in cost-effective ways.
The ten projects will reduce more than nine million pounds of nitrogen and nearly seven million pounds of phosphorous annually to the Bay. The projects reduce pollution from a range of sources and explore market-based incentives to encourage more widespread implementation of pollution-fighting programs.
Projects focus in four key areas: Crop Management, Manure and Poultry Litter Management, Urban/Suburban Stormwater Management, and Market-Based Incentives.
Environmental Defense - Regional Nutrient Use Efficiency in the Lower Susquehanna River Basin
Environmental Defense will work directly with 350 farmers in the Lower Susquehanna River Basin to improve on-farm nutrient use efficiency, including Plain Sect farmers who may be reluctant to participate in government-sponsored programs.d
Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection - Park the Plow for Profit: A Continuous No-Till Transition Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection -- in partnership with Penn State Cooperative Extension, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Capital Area RC&D Council, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council -- will facilitate the conversion of 12,750 acres of cropland to continuous no-till agriculture.
Maryland Department of Agriculture - Innovative Best Management Practice Strategies in the Choptank River Watershed
The Maryland Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Service Beltsville, the Caroline Soil Conservation District, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the University of Maryland Extension Service , and Public Drainage Associations, will work with farmers in the Choptank River watershed to increase agricultural BMP implementation to reduce nutrient and sediment loads.
Manure and Poultry Litter Management
Upper Susquehanna Coalition - Cost Effective Nutrient Reduction in the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed
The Upper Susquehanna Coalition will integrate innovative prescribed grazing with riparian preservation and restoration approaches on agricultural land in the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed.
University of Maryland - Enhancing Nutrient Efficiencies on Dairy Farms in the Monocacy River Watershed
The University of Maryland , working in partnership with the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Adams County Conservation District, will demonstrate the comprehensive use of three key management strategies to reduce nutrient losses from dairy farms in the Monocacy watershed by as much as 30 to 40 percent.
Virginia Waste Solutions Forum - North River Watershed: Utilizing and Exporting Shenandoah Valley Organic Resources
As an outgrowth of the 2005 Waste Solutions Forum, this diverse partnership – including Virginia Tech, the Virginia Poultry Federation, the Dairy Foundation of Virginia, the Shenandoah RC&D Council, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to name a few – will demonstrate a comprehensive and innovative approach to managing excess animal manure and poultry litter in the North River Watershed of the Shenandoah Valley.
Urban/Suburban Stormwater Management
Chesapeake Bay Recovery Partnership - Corsica River Watershed: A Community Response to Pollution Runoff
This project, which is a partnership among the Chesapeake Bay Recovery Partnership, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, seeks to effectively address urban and suburban stormwater runoff in the Corsica River watershed by engaging residents in implementing non structural best management practices.
Susquehanna River Basin Commission - Paxton Creek Watershed: Stormwater Management for Pennsylvania Communities
Using the Paxton Creek Watershed as a model, this project will develop a multi-jurisdictional stormwater management structure spanning several municipalities in the greater Harrisburg area. To test the management structure and address water quality impacts, the initiative also will implement five stormwater demonstration projects that are supported by and funded through public-private partnerships.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Effective Strategies for Reducing Nutrient Loads in the Opequon Creek Watershed
A broad-based partnership, including Virginia Tech, West Virginia University , the Frederick-Winchester Service Authority, as well as federal, state and local governments, community groups and business interests, will use proven and innovative best management practices to accelerate nutrient reduction in the Opequon Creek Watershed.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Virginia Commonwealth University - Nutrient Assimilation Credits: Opportunities for Enhanced Oyster Production
Virginia Tech is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University and two oyster producers to demonstrate and assess the potential for commercial oyster production to be credited with water quality improvements under Chesapeake Bay water quality trading and offset programs.
Download more information (142 kb) about these projects.