PHILADELPHIA –U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced a new $4 million EPA-funded initiative providing financial and technical assistance to local governments to reduce water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
“This critical program will enable local governments to design and implement projects that will achieve measurable goals in restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “It offers localities an opportunity to integrate innovative practices into already existing programs to improve efforts to clean up the Bay.”
As local governments work to implement the Chesapeake Bay TMDL or “pollution diet,” the Local Government Green Infrastructure Initiative will support the effort by providing grants up to to $750,000. The grants will be administered by NFWF through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, and competitively awarded to local governments to design and implement projects demonstrating the integration of green infrastructure into existing programs to meet community needs and improve local waterways and the Bay.
With a combination of grants and technical assistance, the initiative will help local governments overcome obstacles so they will be able to meet pollution reduction goals for local waters and the Bay. The Bay TMDL provides states and local governments with considerable flexibility in how they achieve these objectives.
Grants will be awarded for green infrastructure initiatives such as capital improvements, road maintenance programs, flood plain management, and other projects that produce measurable water quality improvements in local rivers and streams, and ultimately the Bay. The Bay TMDL requires approximately 25 percent reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution, with all of the of the pollution reduction measures needed for restoring the Bay in place by 2025.
Since 2000, the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund has offered $68.9 million in grants for more than 700 projects across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The goal of the fund is to accelerate local implementation of the most innovative, sustainable and cost-effective strategies for restoring and protecting water quality and vital habitats within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund programs and grant opportunities, visit www.nfwf.org/chesapeake.