(The Center Square) – Maryland residents can look forward to improving water quality and habitat, Gov. Larry Hogan said.
The Republican governor, who is in the final months of his second term, announced that $18.8 million is being put into the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund. The influx of cash will be used to build local resilience to climate change impacts at 77 sites spread out among 22 projects.
“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 release. “Each of these projects plays a critical role in improving the quality of the bay and making our ecosystem more resilient.”
The Department of Natural Resources, according to the release, will use the funding to support riparian buffer and reforestation plantings, stream restoration, stormwater management, and the creation of wetlands.
Funding for the projects comes through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, according to the release. Funding targets cost-efficient and most effective points that are not the source point of pollution.
Local waterways and the Bay will benefit from the funding, according to the release, by removing 41,083 pounds of nitrogen, 4,332 pounds of phosphorus, and 7,697 tons of suspended solids.
“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 the release. “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.”
A total of 51 proposals were received, according to the release, and were prioritized by costs, the readiness of the projects, scientific rigor, location, and quality of the project.