To restore local waterways and enhance community resilience to climate change, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has opened the Grants Gateway application process for fiscal year 2025, which commences on July 1, 2024.

The Grants Gateway program, currently in its fourth year, offers a unique avenue for local governments and organizations to seek funding for initiatives that safeguard Maryland’s waterways and foster economic growth and the development of the next generation of environmental stewards. It emphasizes projects that benefit the general boating public and promote the sustainable development and use of Maryland’s waterways.

Unlike traditional funding methods, Maryland’s Grants Gateway provides a simplified, single entry point to several state and federal programs. The aim is to maximize the resources available to restore the Chesapeake Bay and assist coastal communities more effectively and efficiently.

Grant applications are made accessible via the Department of Natural Resources website. This more intuitive system allows communities better access to financial resources and simplifies the reporting and management process, making pursuing such funding less daunting.

The funds for these grants come from various sources, all striving toward the common goal of environmental sustainability. They include the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, the Waterway Improvement Fund, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program.

Each contributor supports the overarching vision of maintaining and enhancing Maryland’s rich natural resources. The financial backing from these bodies ensures that local governments and organizations can launch and sustain projects that mitigate the impacts of climate change, bolster local economies, and foster sustainable development and use of Maryland waterways.

The department’s focus on environmental stewardship and resilience to climate change aligns with growing international concern about environmental sustainability. By investing in such projects, Maryland is not only making strides towards restoring and maintaining its waterways but also playing its part in the global fight against climate change.

These efforts underscore the importance of community participation in conservation. By providing resources and funding, Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources encourages local governments and organizations to take an active role in the preservation and sustainable use of their natural environment.

The Grants Gateway application process marks an important step in Maryland’s environmental journey. The comprehensive funding opportunity offers an inclusive way for communities to actively protect their natural surroundings, ensuring the state’s waterways continue to thrive for generations.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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