Ho­gan an­nounces fund­ing for Bay water qual­ity im­prove­ments

The Avenue News - - NEWS -

Gover­nor Larry Ho­gan an­nounced last week that the Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources has awarded fund­ing to 18 re­cip­i­ents through the Ch­e­sa­peake and At­lantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund to im­prove the health of Mary­land’s wa­ter­ways. The Trust Fund di­rects crit­i­cal grant fund­ing to the most cost-ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient water qual­ity im­prove­ment projects in the state that re­sult in the high­est level of pol­lu­tion re­duc­tion as a re­turn of the state’s in­vest­ment.

The Ch­e­sa­peake and At­lantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund were fully funded for the last two years. Ad­di­tion­ally, af­ter years of raid­ing by the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Ho­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion has also fully funded Pro­gram Open Space, the state’s pre­mier land con­ser­va­tion and recre­ation pro­gram.

“We have in­vested the most ever – nearly $145 mil­lion dol­lars – in the Ch­e­sa­peake and At­lantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. Last year was the first time it has ever been fully funded in our state’s his­tory, and we fully funded Bay restora­tion ef­forts again this year,” said Gover­nor Ho­gan.

In­clud­ing in the plan is money for the Bal­ti­more County DEPS for a stream restora­tion project that will re­store flood­plain con­nec­tion and sta­bi­lize banks along 2,200 lf of highly in­cised stream channel along White Marsh Run by Up­ton Road Stream Restora­tion.

The Bal­ti­more County Soil Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict also re­ceived fund­ing to con­struct 3 restora­tion projects that will use nat­u­ral de­sign con­cepts and sus­tain­able prac­tices to cost­ef­fec­tively re­duce ni­tro­gen, phos­pho­rus, and sed­i­ment loads in the county.

“These 18 shovel-ready projects, to­tal­ing more than $21 mil­lion dol­lars of in­vest­ments, will have a long-last­ing, pos­i­tive im­pact on the Bay and the en­vi­ron­ment.”

The Trust Fund grants an­nounced to­day will pro­vide fund­ing to wa­ter­shed projects from Fred­er­ick to Tal­bot County, in­clud­ing stream and wet­land restora­tion, in­no­va­tive stormwa­ter man­age­ment, ri­par­ian tree buf­fer plant­ings and more.

“The Trust Fund al­lows us to en­gage lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in dis­cov­er­ing cost-ef­fec­tive and in­no­va­tive ap­proaches aimed at pro­tect­ing our wa­ter­ways,” Nat­u­ral Re­sources Sec­re­tary Mark Bel­ton said. “Through pi­o­neer­ing part­ner­ships, Mary­land is re­al­iz­ing lower costs for the re­moval of nu­tri­ents and sed­i­ments, a ben­e­fit for the en­vi­ron­ment and tax­pay­ers.”

The Trust Fund is ad­min­is­tered by the Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and guided by the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Cab­i­net. De­part­ment staff works with lo­cal part­ners on stormwa­ter in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments and em­ploy­ing the lat­est tech­nolo­gies to im­prove water qual­ity. Since its cre­ation in 2007, the Trust Fund has sup­ported more than 2,000 projects across the state, cre­at­ing and sup­port­ing ap­prox­i­mately 2,300 jobs.

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