WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior will provide a $723,598 grant to Maryland for conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The grant is from the Department of Interior’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and will be used to establish and renovate parks and open spaces in the state.
“Renovating and creating parks and open spaces has been one of my most satisfying achievements as a member of Congress,” said Senator Cardin, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife and has long fought for funding to develop parks and greenways across Maryland. “This funding will allow more Marylanders to enjoy our state’s natural wonders, and also create new jobs and economic activity.”
“From my home in Baltimore, I could easily go to the beach, fish in the Chesapeake Bay, hike in the Appalachian Mountains,” Senator Mikulski said. “That’s one of the most wonderful things about Maryland. This grant will help preserve these beautiful natural areas so that all Marylanders can enjoy them for generations to come.”
The LWCF grant will enable Maryland’s state and local governments to establish urban parks and community green spaces; to restore and provide public access to rivers, lakes and other water resources; and to conserve natural landscapes for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment. LWCF grants are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in state and local public outdoor recreation.
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. The primary source of revenue for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Since its inception, the Fund has provided more than $3.8 billion to state and local governments for approximately 41,000 projects throughout the nation. In addition to the funding for Maryland, the LWCF awarded grants to the other 49 States, the Territories and the District of Columbia for Fiscal Year 2011, totaling $37.4 million.