Home Chesapeake Bay conservation effort draws millions in grant funding

Chesapeake Bay conservation effort draws millions in grant funding

Rebecca Barnabi
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The Chesapeake Bay watershed in Virginia will be supported by more than $13 million in grant awards for restoration and conservation.

More than $12 million in matching contributions of 35 grants will generate a total conservation impact of more than $26 million, according to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Funding will support innovative and community-led approaches to reduce pollution to local rivers and streams, restore habitats and improve rural and urban communities across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Projects will emphasize partnerships and collaborative approaches as central to effective local and regional ecosystem restoration efforts and engagement of local communities in the planning, design and implementation of restoration and conservation efforts.

“This funding not only helps kickstart critical water quality programs within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it represents an investment in public health and the communities who call the Bay home,” Janet McCabe, EPA’s Deputy Administrator, said in a press release. “Our partnerships and collaborative approaches bring farmers, homeowners, communities, businesses and local leaders together as a team, working in partnership to reduce pollution, improve water quality, and revitalize their communities.”

Awarded through the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program (INSR) and the Small Watershed Grants (SWG) Programs, core grant programs of the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program partnership that are administered under NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF), the award include $15 million provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, the first set of awards from the infrastructure funding.

Funding will also be provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private funding by Altria Group, Zoetis, and Astra Zeneca. Additional funding will come from the Bezos Earth Fund.

“The grants announced today represent the single largest annual investment in on-the-ground restoration projects in the more than 20-year history of NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” Executive Director and CEO of NFWF Jeff Trandahl said in the press release. “These grants demonstrate the power of and the conservation impact of supporting local communities in implementing conservation projects that support broader restoration goals for the Chesapeake Bay while at the same time addressing critical local priorities for environmental improvements.”

A complete list of the 2022 Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grants recipients is available here, and a complete list of the 2022 Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed grants recipients is available here.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.