Maryland is awarding $18.8 million to 22 ecological restoration projects with the aim of improving the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s water quality and habitats, and making communities stand up better to climate issues, Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.
The projects will be awarded grants through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coast Bays Trust Fund.
“Our administration’s commitment to environmental stewardship has included making record investments in Chesapeake Bay restoration, and fully funding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund,” Hogan said in a statement. “Each of these projects plays a critical role in improving the quality of the bay and making our ecosystem more resilient.”
The 22 projects include 77 sites that will undergo various types of restoration, including establishing buffers along waterways, planting trees as part of reforestation, restoring streams, improving stormwater management, and creating wetlands.
The projects will involve removing more than 41,083 pounds of nitrogen, 4,332 pounds of phosphorus, and 7,967 tons of suspended solids from local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
“We are grateful for the governor’s continued leadership in fully funding the Trust Fund, which is one of the most important water quality financing programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said in a statement. “This program allows us to identify the most meaningful and cost-effective projects in communities across Maryland to improve water quality and meet our Bay restoration goals.”
DNR received 51 grant proposals for this year’s funds. The agency prioritized proposals based on cost-efficiency, based on the cost of reducing nutrients and sediment per pound; project readiness; scientific rigor; geographic distribution; and overall quality, according to state officials.
Some of this year’s grant awardees include:
- Blue Water Baltimore, for a project to install rain gardens, a tree island and other bio-retention infrastructure at Eden Korean United Methodist Church in Towson to manage runoff from the church’s parking lot.
- Center for Watershed Protection, Inc., to install a submerged gravel wetland next to the Light Rail station at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium to improve stormwater management.
- Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, for two stream restoration projects at Minebank Run in Towson and Miller Run in Catonsville.
Read about all 22 projects that were awarded grants this year on DNR’s website.