September 14, 2009

SENATOR CARDIN JOINS EPA AND NFWF IN ANNOUNCING $1.3 MILLION IN GRANTS TO IMPROVE THE BAY'S WATERSHED

ANNAPOLIS - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today joined the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in announcing $1,362,620 million in grants for 15 Maryland projects to help protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 

"Federal funding for projects like these will help protect and restore critical aquatic ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay," said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. "One of my top priorities is to improve the health of streams, creeks and rivers that make up the Bay's watershed and that sustain its natural habitat. To that end, I will be introducing legislation soon that will focus on improving the water quality of the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed, including authorization for more grants to states and local governments to aid in cleanup efforts."

 

The Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program provides grants to organizations and local governments working on a local level to protect and improve watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay basin, while building citizen-based resource stewardship. The purpose of the grants program is to support protection and restoration actions that contribute to restoring healthy waters, habitat and living resources of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The Small Watershed Grants Program has been designed to encourage the development and sharing of innovative ideas among the many organizations wishing to be involved in watershed protection activities.

 

Senator Cardin recently released details of the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009 . The Cardin-authored reauthorization bill amends the Clean Water Act to give state and local governments of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Area strong new enforcement tools and more than $1.5 billion in new grant authority to restore the Bay's health and - for the first time - sets a firm deadline of May 2020 for all restoration efforts to be in place.

 

 

The bill also establishes a flexible pollution trading program that is designed to lower compliance costs while providing farmers with added financial incentives to implement

conservation practices on their lands.  In addition, the bill puts the force of law behind a recent Executive Order from President Obama that requires every federal department to work toward Bay restoration.  

 

 

Below is a list of the Maryland watershed grants announced today:  

           

·          Spa Creek Conservancy/ $109,240.  Partnering with St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church and School system to treat approximately 90% of the stormwater runoff from the impervious surfaces at the St. Martin's site.

·          Gunpowder Valley Conservancy/$100,000. Educating 8,000 homeowners and motivating 110 of them to implement stormwater reduction measures in upland portions of watershed.

·          Alliance for Community Education/ $47,944.  Restore 3 acres of impervious surfaces to reduce stormwater runoff to Magothy River.

·          Sassafras River Association/ $100,000.  Complete Sassafras River plan.

·          Chesapeake Bay Foundation/ $100,000.  Facilitate landowner enrollment in existing state and federal conservation cost-share programs, concentrating on the watersheds of the upper Potomac Basin.

·          Izaak Walton League of America, Inc./ $60,000. Watershed plan for the Savage River.

·          Nanticoke Watershed Alliance/ $30,000.  Develop and implement conservation plans for the Nanticoke watershed.

·          Queen Anne's County/ $170,000.  Establish a 50' living shoreline on 20 properties, create 10 acres of wetlands, install 3 upstream sediment basins and long-term water quality monitoring program.

·          Oyster Recovery Partnership/ $49,936.  Expanding citizen involvement in bay restoration projects.

·          Maryland Forestry Board Foundation/ $33,210.  Provide training for MD Forest Conservancy Board Chairs and members.

·          Chesapeake Ecology Center / $100,000.  Begin full implementation of  the RainScaping Campaign - stormwater runoff solutions.

·          Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage/ $31,290.  Restore 35 acres of wooded wetlands and 50 acres of forested buffers at Central Laundry Pre-release Unit in Sykesville.

·          Savage River Watershed Assoc./ $120,000.  Restore natural stream conditions to a 1000' reach of Savage River.

·          MD Eastern Shore RE&D Council/ $161,000. Remove falling concrete wall causing erosion in town park/Oxford.

·          Talbot Soil Conservation District/ $150,000.  Develop GIS tool for tracking and evaluating cover crop performance.