Partnership with Chesapeake Bay Trust Establishes Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund
Anglers, boaters and hunters who purchase their licenses or registrations from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources have a new way to give back to natural resources they enjoy and love. In partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the department announced today a new voluntary option in the online checkout for the Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund.
Funds generated by the new program will be distributed as grants for on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects that seek to enhance habitat and water quality as well as programs aimed at getting K-12 students outdoors. Grants will be provided to nonprofits in support of environmental and natural resources priorities throughout the state, from the Youghiogheny to the Coastal Bays.
“Our citizens and customers shared our commitment and passion for the great outdoors, and are great advocates and stewards in the conservation, protection and wise use of our state’s lands and waters,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Thanks to our strong partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, we can provide our customers with an easy and simple way to give back to nature’s bounty.”
Grants from the Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund will support projects as small as $100 to over $500,000 made to community and environmental organizations as well as research and watershed groups.
“We are thrilled to make stronger connections between the fishing, hunting and boating communities, and improvement of the resources they enjoy,” Chesapeake Bay Trust Executive Director Jana Davis said. “The evidence is mounting that being outdoors is good for all of us: We want these communities to have an option not just to enjoy their outdoor activities, but the opportunity to take part in restoring and protecting outdoor resources.”
All contributions will be tax deductible. Contributors over $10 will have the option of enrolling in a “Perks Program,” which offers discounts and preferred parking at local businesses throughout Maryland.
Examples of projects supported by the Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund include:
- Boating field trips
- Eel, oyster, shad, terrapin, trout and other raise-and-release programs for students
- Living shoreline projects, including access for canoes and kayaks
- Local sustainable seafood projects
- Research to improve efficacy of stream restoration practices
- Trout stream restoration projects
- Wetland restoration projects
For every $20 contributed, one tree can be planted and one student can receive an outdoor field trip.
Funds will be managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Trust, a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland state legislature in 1985.