The Chesapeake Bay Program and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have announced grants totaling $11.5 million to forty-four projects designed to restore streams, creeks, and rivers that make up the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program, the grants will provide support to local nonprofits and governments working to preserve natural habitats, implement restoration practices, and develop conservation plans aimed at improving local tributaries and aquatic ecosystems. The projects, which will be implemented in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia, will leverage more than $22.2 million in matching funds.
Recipients include the Spa Creek Conservancy, which was awarded $477,907 to implement nine upland watershed stormwater management practices, including bio-retention cells, filtration systems, bioswales, sand filters, and conservation landscaping; Blue Water Baltimore, Inc., which will receive $500,000 to implement stormwater management practices in five neighborhoods in Baltimore; and the Maryland Department of Agriculture, which was awarded $499,937 to launch a pilot nitrogen incentive payment project that incentivizes wetland and riparian forest buffer enrollments, re-enrollment, and permanent easements in high-priority areas to reduce sediment and nutrient loadings and improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
"Through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, NFWF and our partners, especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, continue to invest in efforts that build more resilient communities while improving local watersheds," said Eric Schwaab, vice president for conservation programs at NFWF. "These investments demonstrate that the actions necessary to restore local rivers and streams go hand in hand with opportunities to enhance local communities."