NFWF announces $13M in grants from Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund

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Photo Credit: Sean K

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the EPA announced Thursday nearly $13 million in grants to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in six U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The 47 grants will generate more than $20 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $32 million. Fifteen projects in Virginia will leverage matching funds of $9,858,882 for a total of $15,465,886 to support water quality improvements.

The grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF), a partnership between NFWF and the EPA’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (INSR Program) and Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG Program). Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership.

Grant recipients were announced at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and School in Essex, (Baltimore County) Maryland, where a 2017 Stewardship Fund grant to the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy supported installation of stormwater and green infrastructure improvements.

“To keep the health of the Chesapeake Bay on a positive trajectory requires all of us working together through cost-effective projects that protect shorelines and wetlands, control pollution and restore or sustain local fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who attended the grant announcement event in Essex. “The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund enables local governments to design and implement projects that will work best for their communities.”

“Protecting the Chesapeake Bay isn’t just a priority, it’s an obligation,” said U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. “As an Appropriator, I was on the ground floor fighting for these critical funds, and I am proud to have helped increase the pot of resources we have available for our mighty Chesapeake Bay stewards. These grants will help them help us ensure the Bay is healthy enough to continue supporting our region’s economy and enriching the quality of life of Marylanders for generations to come.”

The projects supported by the 47 grants announced today will support methods to improve waterways, restore habitats and strengthen iconic species in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The funds will engage farmers and agricultural producers, homeowners, churches, businesses and municipalities in on-the-ground restoration that supports quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and, ultimately, the health of the Bay.

“EPA is pleased to invest in people, partnerships and projects that improve the quality of local waters and habitat, and help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said. “It is a priority for EPA to support local actions that move us closer to our restoration goals.

The INSR Program awarded more than $6.7 million to seven projects, with recipients providing more than $12.4 million in match. The program provides grants to accelerate the implementation of water quality improvements specifically through the collaborative and coordinated efforts of sustainable, regional-scale partnerships with a shared focus on water quality restoration and protection in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

“The grants announced today will support on-the-ground conservation efforts that benefit people and wildlife throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants will help local communities and conservation partners restore and protect rivers and streams, improving water quality and the ecological health of the Bay.”

The SWG Program awarded more than $5.4 million to 40 projects, with recipients providing nearly $7.8 million in match. The program provides grants to organizations and municipal governments that are working to improve the condition of their local watershed through on-the-ground restoration, habitat conservation and community involvement. Grant recipients expect to reduce pollution through infrastructures including greener landscapes and community outreach initiatives that promote native landscaping and improved practices for managing runoff. This year’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients in Virginia include:

  • City of Norfolk ($161,500) will expand and increase implementation of their Green Infrastructure Plan by supporting community tree plantings, adoption of tree and rain barrels for installation on private properties, construction of rain gardens in community spaces and restoring wetlands and riparian buffers.
  • The Elizabeth River Project ($198,472) will develop the first protocol in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for verifying residential best management practices and construct a living shoreline showcase on the Norfolk Southern campus. The project will increase the capacity of the River Star Homes and River Star Businesses programs to reduce pollution, while developing important protocols and models for residential and industrial stewardship.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ($1,000,000) will help build soil health through collaboration, implementation and market opportunities by piloting 45 producers with management control of 2,250 acres of cropland to create widespread adoption of no-till, cover crop and enhanced nutrient management practices. The adoption of these practices is expected to increase to 20,000 acres by project completion.

A complete list of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund 2019 grants winners is available here.


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