Congressman John Sarbanes today joined Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) in announcing $3,683,392 in federal funding to support habitat restoration, habitat management, planning and implementation of projects in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay watershed. Maryland received more than one-third of the $10 million in new investments announced throughout the six watershed states and the District of Columbia.
"The healthier the Chesapeake Bay, the healthier our communities," said the lawmakers. "This funding is an important step in maintaining and revitalizing one of our region’s most valuable natural resources. We must continue to work together as a community to reduce pollution and restore habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and local waters that support a strong economy and a balanced ecosystem.”
Funding comes National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Chesapeake Bay Program Office. These federal resources will be leveraged for local restoration projects, including restoring habitats, improving waterways, cleaning up and restoring polluted rivers, strengthening wildlife species and implementing water quality improvement practices across the watershed. Awardees include:
- $1,131,439 for Habitat Restoration. Awardees include:
- $360,124 for Trout Unlimited to protect and restore the brook trout habitat in the Savage River Watershed by reducing runoff that pollutes and harms waterways, while helping local farmers improve their productivity.
- $125,173 for St. Mary’s River Watershed Association to help restore oyster habitats by recruiting volunteers to create oyster habitat structures, and manage and monitor oyster habitats in prioritized shellfish sanctuary areas.
- $400,000 for Washington College to establish native grass buffers to trap pollutants and pesticides as well as restore wetlands in Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore.
- $246,142 for Ridge to Reefs to monitor and limit nitrate levels in contaminated water to ensure optimal plant and algae growth.
- $2,377,098 for Habitat Management. Awardees include:
- $200,785 for Greater Grace World Outreach to plant 100 community trees to create micro-bioretention areas and a micro-bioretention system. Micro-bioretention areas are landscaping features that filter rainwater and improve water quality.
- $302,750 for Future Harvest to improve soil health and water quality through soil management and crop production. This will help 12 farms on the Eastern Shore adopt site-specific cover cropping strategies.
- $379,430 for Chesapeake Bay Foundation for “whole farm” technical assistance and financial incentives to engage volunteers to plant trees, create buffers, and educate local communities about regenerative agriculture.
- $364,586 for the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy to encourage local business to plant native trees, create rain gardens or micro-bioretention areas to filter water, improve water quality, and increase engagement in the local community.
- $268,871 for Blue Water Baltimore to improve water quality in Baltimore County on private property by installing projects to reduce watershed pollution. This will help Baltimore County reach its watershed improvement plan goals and help motivate homeowners to plant trees in their yard and educate residents about pollution detection in local streams.
- $167,807 for Defensores de la Cuenca to create workshops for Spanish speakers, educating them on watershed issues with hands-on experience.
- $53,609 for Shorerivers to create volunteer led tree planting projects in Sassafras, Chester, Miles-Wye and Choptank River Watersheds. This project will partner with the Tree Stewards program to help train volunteers and conduct outreach to encourage others to plant native trees.
- $500,000 for Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to promote best practices for maintaining management and improving water quality in the Anacostia Watershed. This will be done through a virtual maintenance resource center, inspections, cost-share maintenance services, and a neighborhood volunteer program.
- $59,374 for The Sixth Branch to build “One Green Acre,” a tree nursery and community hub in the Broadway East neighborhood. This will create a unique tree farm, nursery, community hub and center for workforce development that will return native-tree production to Baltimore City.
- $79,886 for Shorerivers to engage three underrepresented communities from across Maryland’s Choptank watershed in implementing restoration projects that will improve water quality, address resource concerns such as stormwater flooding, and enhance private lands and shared spaces.
- $174,855 for Planning, Research and Monitoring. Awardees include:
- $49,998 for the Carroll County Government’s Bureau of Resource Management to develop a comprehensive watershed assessment and prioritization process. It will evaluate the needs and opportunities for restoration projects to improve the water quality in the Little Pipe Creek sub-watershed in Carroll County.
- $25,011 for the Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States to design a conservation landscape and rain garden for the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It will also create a program to train the owners and employees of small and underrepresented landscape contracting companies in the construction of conservation landscapes and rain gardens.
- $49,935 for Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp to develop an environmental master plan for the Forest Park Golf Course in Baltimore City by identifying the highest priority stormwater management project.
- $49,911 for American Forests to build a deep-dive Tree Equity Score Analyzer (TESA) tool for use across the greater Washington metropolitan region. This will provide a way to assess which communities could significantly benefit from the addition of trees to their landscapes and will then focus resources on communities of highest need to improve tree canopy.
Additional information about the Grants to Restore the Chesapeake Bay Watershed can be found here.