Grants totaling over $12 million awarded in MD to support clean water

News Release, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Chesapeake Bay Region (October 10, 2019)– The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced nearly $13 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 47 grants will generate more than $20 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $32 million. Eighteen projects in Maryland will leverage matching funds of $8,269,710 for a total of $12,750,381 to support water quality improvements.

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, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish, and Wildlife Service, and the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership. 

Grant recipients were announced at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and School in Essex, (Baltimore County) Maryland, where a 2017 Stewardship Fund grant to the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy supported the installation of stormwater and green infrastructure improvements. 

“To keep the health of the Chesapeake Bay on a positive trajectory requires all of us working together through cost-effective projects that protect shorelines and wetlands, control pollution and restore or sustain local fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who attended the grant announcement event in Essex. “The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund enables local governments to design and implement projects that will work best for their communities.”

“Protecting the Chesapeake Bay isn’t just a priority, it’s an obligation,” said U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. “As an Appropriator, I was on the ground floor fighting for these critical funds, and I am proud to have helped increase the pot of resources we have available for our mighty Chesapeake Bay stewards. These grants will help them help us ensure the Bay is healthy enough to continue supporting our region’s economy and enriching the quality of life of Marylanders for generations to come.”

The projects supported by the 47 grants announced today will support methods to improve waterways, restore habitats 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 the quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and, ultimately, the health of the Bay.

“EPA is pleased to invest in people, partnerships and projects that improve the quality of local waters and habitat, and help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said. “It is a priority for EPA to support local actions that move us closer to our restoration goals.

The INSR Program awarded more than $6.7 million to seven projects, with recipients providing more than $12.4 million in a 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 grants announced today will support on-the-ground conservation efforts that benefit people and wildlife throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants will help local communities and conservation partners restore and protect rivers and streams, improving water quality and the ecological health of the Bay.”

The SWG Program awarded more than $5.4 million to 40 projects, with recipients providing nearly $7.8 million in a 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. This year’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients in Maryland include:

  • Central Baltimore Partnership ($49,595) will develop a green infrastructure master plan and design for a series of stormwater best management practices at Union Collective, a 10.5-acre, a mostly impervious site with a curated assembly of independently-owned, Baltimore-based businesses. The project will show how green infrastructure can be used to mitigate the challenges of urban stormwater runoff and climate-related flooding.
  • ReBUILD Metro ($199,990) will facilitate community-determined green stormwater infrastructure projects to create 2.75 acres of long-term greenspace and improve the urban tree canopy in the Olive, Broadway East, and Johnston Square neighborhoods of Baltimore. The project will build community consensus and ownership of stormwater projects and address future project pipelines.
  • ShoreRivers ($192,619)will design and implement 10 residential River Friendly Yard practices and three golf course best management practices in the Prospect Bay Country Club Community. The project will result in direct nutrient and sediment reductions draining from residential yards and the highly-fertilized golf course.

A complete list of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund 2019 grants winners isavailable here.

Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $91.4 million to 183 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 1999, the SWG Program has provided more than $62 million to support 885 projects in the region to protect and restore the natural resources of the Bay watershed.

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2018 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grant Slate, visit

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...