Thursday, June 3, 2021

NFWF/EPA Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Awards $4.9 Million In Grants To Benefit PA Portion Of Bay Watershed

On June 3, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $9.6 million in grants to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

The 11 grants will leverage more than $28 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of nearly $38 million.

In Pennsylvania, six grants were awarded totalling $4,979,700 leveraging $23,264,336 of matching funding.

Funding was approved for these projects in Pennsylvania--

-- Creating Healthy Watersheds through Partnerships and Implementation in Flourishing Landscapes - DCNR - $1,000,000: Accelerate implementation pace of watershed forestry best management practices like riparian forest buffer, urban forest planting, and conservation landscaping implementation through partner-funded outreach, large contract plantings, investments in professional development, and creation of experiential learning labs. Project will galvanize Pennsylvania’s existing riparian forest buffer and lawn conversion partnerships to elevate their ability to outreach and implement.

-- Lancaster Clean Water Partners Collaborating and Scaling Up Stormwater Management $969,326: Coordinate stormwater management projects in priority catchments where Lancaster County’s agriculture and stormwater land uses intersect in unique ways. Project will accelerate efforts to implement the Countywide Action Plan, advancing conservation education, sustaining outreach, delisting up to half-mile segments of stream in priority catchments, and extend the impact of the Lancaster Clean Water Partners’ collaborative

-- Creating A Regenerative Organic Dairy Industry - PASA Sustainable Agriculture $997,506: Integrate dairy farms to an education and peer-to-peer learning network, coordinate regenerative farm business plan processes for dairy farms to regenerate soil and set the farm on a sustainable and profitable pathway, certify dairy farms in the Regenerative Organic Certified standard. Project will work with project partners TeamAg and the Origin Milk Company to pioneer a model of 100 percent grass-fed dairy that grows soil health, improves water quality, and sustains family farms.  [Note: This project has $17,390,000 in matching funding.]

-- Accelerating Green Infrastructure Implementation in Wyoming Valley - Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority $848,440: Implement green infrastructure demonstration projects, form a stormwater steering committee, recommend updates to municipal codes and policies to remove implementation barriers, provide education and training for design, and assess areas for further opportunities. Project will scale up green infrastructure implementation, build broader public and private sector acceptance, accelerate the rate of water quality improvements, and cultivate and enhance partnership and network growth.

-- Connecting Urban & Agricultural Sectors For Accelerated Water Quality Improvements - Blair County Conservation District $664,428: Install stream restoration projects, riparian buffers, and green infrastructure through municipality partnerships and partner with farmers to stabilize farm lanes and in-field erosion/ scouring sites, and host workshops to encourage the adoption of these practices. Project will accelerate water quality improvements by networking with existing and new partners to install sound water quality improvements in Blair County - the Beaverdam, Frankstown, and Little Juniata Watersheds.

-- Clean Water Cumberland: Scaling Up Implementation in Cumberland County - Cumberland County Commissioners $500,000: Provide infrastructure to bundle contracting of agricultural best management practices across several priority farms. Project will formalize and enhance capacity of Clean Water Cumberland, and create impactful improvements to water quality in Cumberland County and downstream.

Click Here for more details.

The grants were awarded through the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program (INSR Program), a core program under NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund

CBSF is a partnership between NFWF and the EPA to provide grant funding, technical assistance, and networking and information sharing in support of local, on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts to restore the bay and its tributary rivers and streams.

Additional support for CBSF is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service, the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Altria Group. 

The 11 grants will support innovative approaches to reduce pollution to local rivers and streams, restore habitats, and improve rural and urban communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. 

These projects will further emphasize partnerships and collaborative approaches as central to effective local and regional ecosystem restoration efforts. 

The funds will help partners engage farmers and agricultural producers, homeowners, churches, businesses and municipalities to improve the quality of life in their communities, local water quality and, ultimately, the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

“EPA is pleased to invest in partnerships and projects that improve the quality of local waters and habitat and help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Diana Esher.  “It is a priority for EPA to support local actions that move us closer to our restoration goals. We appreciate the forward-thinking ideas reflected in these projects.”

“The grants announced today will accelerate the efforts of dozens of partners working together to implement on-the-ground improvements that benefit the Chesapeake Bay, its remarkable wildlife, and local communities across the bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants demonstrate the essential role of partnerships and collaboration in providing resources for local restoration efforts that are critical to the future health of the Bay.”

Click Here for a complete list of grants awarded.

Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $115 million to 210 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

For more information, visit  NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund webpage.

Related Articles:

-- National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications For Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program Grants

-- PA Receives $3.9 Million EPA Grant For Water Quality Improvement Projects In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

[Posted: June 3, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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