On July 27, 2023, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the award of $22.9 million from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund to 24 ecological restoration projects encompassing 95 sites throughout the state of Maryland.
The projects were selected to improve water quality and habitat in the Chesapeake Bay watershed while building local resilience to climate impacts.
“This valuable funding stream plays an important role in Maryland’s effort to improve the health of the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays,” said Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Josh Kurtz.
“The projects funded with these grants will help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, improve wildlife habitat, provide recreational opportunities, and make Maryland’s communities more resilient to climate change,” he added.
The projects deploy best management practices including streamside tree buffer plantings, reforestation, stream restoration, stormwater management, and wetland creation.
Grants are made possible through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, which targets the most cost-efficient and effective non-point source pollution reduction projects.
The projects awarded this funding round will benefit local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay by removing more than 33,756 pounds of nitrogen, 4288 pounds of phosphorus and nearly 5765 tons of sediment.
In the water, these nutrient pollutants fuel algal blooms that discolor the water and remove dissolved oxygen that’s necessary for species such as fish and crabs.
Through improved connections across similar grant programs, the department is working to support more comprehensive projects that also achieve at least one of the following outcomes–fostering healthy ecosystems, building resiliency, or providing outdoor learning experiences.
The department is currently soliciting applications for Fiscal Year 2025.
Photo of shoreline in the process of being ecologically restored courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.