In December, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $13.1 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 49 grants will generate nearly $21.9 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $35 million.
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 (NRCS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership and CSX.
Grant recipients were announced in conjunction with the NFWF-hosted, biennial Chesapeake Ag Forum, a conference that brings together the best practitioners and partners advancing agricultural conservation practices across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The projects supported by the 49 grants will support methods to improve waterways, restore habitat 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.
The INSR Program awarded more than $7.3 million to eight projects, with recipients providing more than $10.4 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 SWG Program awarded more than $5.7 million to 41 projects, with recipients providing nearly $11.4 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.
2018 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients include:
Lancaster Farmland Trust ($198,463) will reduce pollution flowing from Salisbury Township farms to the Chesapeake Bay by catalyzing increased adoption of farm conservation practices through connecting the economic value of conservation to farm resilience and other methods including creating learning farms.
Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, Inc. ($194,431) will support the adoption of rotational grazing and cover cropping on many livestock farms and work closely with six to 10 farms to support their transition to managed grazing.
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay ($1,000,000) will support dairy farmers in meeting their sediment and nutrient reduction needs through a collaborative public-private partnership between the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Turkey Hill Dairy, and the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association.
For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2018 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grant Slate, visit www.nfwf.org/chesapeake.
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $4.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
source: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation