The Chesapeake Bay Trust is encouraging Marylanders “Check Line 37” on their Maryland state income tax form and contribute to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund, a voluntary mechanism created to support Bay restoration and education programs and to protect Maryland’s endangered species.
The fund, which is split evenly between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, allows Marylanders to donate through their state income tax return to help the Bay and conserve Maryland’s native wildlife and endangered species.
In 2010, more than $1.1 million was contributed through the tax check-off, which funded Bay restoration initiatives, community stewardship projects and environmental education programs throughout the state.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is an independent nonprofit foundation that receives half the proceeds generated from the Bay Fund. The organization awards hundreds of grants each year to organizations that engage individuals and local communities in efforts to improve the health of the Bay and local waters. Since 1985, the Trust has awarded more than $34 million in grants, including $4.2 million in 2010 alone.
In 2010, Trust grants engaged 97,803 students and 42,000 volunteers who removed 553 tons of trash from Maryland streams and rivers, planted 115,665 native plants and trees, and restored 47 acres of wetlands, oyster reefs and streamside buffers.
Launched in 1990, the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund is one of the most successful voluntary tax check-off programs in the nation. Last year, almost 46,000 Maryland state income tax statements were returned with contributions to the fund, which averaged $28 per donation.
To make a donation, taxpayers can simply complete line 37 on their Maryland state income tax form or ask their accountant to process the donation. Donations of any dollar amount can be made and all are tax deductible.
For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Trust, visit www.cbtrust.org
For information about the Department of Natural Resource’s Wildlife and Heritage Division, visit www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife.
source: Chesapeake Bay Trust