May 10, 2007

CARDIN AND MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $700,000 ENVIRONMENTAL GRANT FOR FREDERICK & CARROLL COUNTY HORSE FARMERS

Susan Sullam: 410-962-4436


WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara Mikulski today joined with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA) in announcing a $700,000 Targeted Watershed Grant for Maryland to help horse farms in Frederick and Carroll Counties reduce nutrient runoff to the Chesapeake Bay. A total of $5 million in Targeted Watershed grants were announced to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Each year thousands of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorous from horse farms pollute the Bay. In Maryland, horses outnumber dairy cows and beef cattle, yet horse operations are ineligible or unaware of agriculture conservation programs. This grant will provide resources, education and training to small horse farms to reduce the runoff.

"This Targeted Watershed Grant will bring much needed expertise and knowledge to small horse farmers to help them reduce nutrient pollution from Maryland's Western Shore," said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "The Bay is our most precious natural resource and we have a duty to protect and restore it for future generations."

"The Chesapeake Bay Targeted Watershed Grants Program is critical to the health of the Bay and its rivers and streams. Investing in our waterways helps clean up the Bay and shores up the local economy," said Senator Mikulski. "Maryland communities and farmers want to do right by the Bay, but they can't do it on their own. That's why Senator Cardin and I work hard to fund effective restoration projects that save the Bay and help the Marylanders who depend on it for jobs and recreation."

The Maryland Department of Agriculture will join with the Soil Conservation Districts, the Maryland Horse Outreach Workgroup, the Maryland Horse Industry Board, the University of Maryland Extension Horse Specialist and the Natural Resource Conservation Service as partners in the project. Project partners will contribute an additional $281,000 to the project, for a total of $981,000.