The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $9.6 million in grant awards to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. NFWF and EPA representatives joined Members of Congress, local leaders, and community members at Black Dog Farm in Queen Anne, Maryland, to announce the awards. The 10 grants will leverage more than $9.4 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of just over $19 million.
The grants were awarded through the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program (INSR) Program, a core grant program of the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program partnership that are administered under NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF). CBSF is a partnership between NFWF and EPA that provides grant funding, technical assistance, and networking and information sharing to support local, on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams.
“The grants announced today build on decades of success through NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in advancing on-the-ground, voluntary, and community-based approaches to accelerate water quality improvements for the bay and its tributary rivers and streams,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Beyond local benefits for water quality, these grants demonstrate how strategic and focused approaches can both enhance resilience for the bay’s human and wildlife communities and help restore vital living resources across the bay watershed.”
The 10 grants announced today will support local implementation of critical, natural and nature-based watershed restoration practices that provide long-term water quality improvement benefits, improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat for at-risk species, and enhance climate resilience for human and wildlife communities.
These projects will further emphasize partnerships and collaborative approaches as central to effective local and regional ecosystem restoration efforts and engagement of local communities in the planning, design, and implementation of restoration and conservation efforts. The funds will help partners engage farmers and agricultural producers, community-based organizations, homeowners, churches, businesses, and municipalities to improve local water quality and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Examples of this year’s grant recipients include:
- Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. ($999,300) will create cost-share programs to accelerate the adoption of sustainable and resilient chicken farming practices in Maryland and Virginia’s Delmarva Peninsula and improve riparian buffers, precision nutrient management, conservation drainage and litter management.
- Backyard Basecamp ($984,900) will implement nature-based stormwater solutions and enhance stream daylighting to build resilience to flooding in East Baltimore and provide improved access to community green space.
- The Pennsylvania State University ($1,000,000) will engage congregations through volunteer programs to initiate green infrastructure projects in places of worship and support congregational members in adopting conservation practices on their farms.
- Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe ($1,000,000) will reclaim and restore parts of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe’s ancestral lands through invasive-species removal; planting native grasses and trees to enhance both upland, riparian, and wetland habitats; and restoring channelized streams.
A complete list of the 2023 Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grants recipients is available here. See a list of quotes from elected officials about today’s grant announcement here.