EPA allocates $206 million to help restore Chesapeake Bay

March 28, 2024

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved $206 million for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Chesapeake Bay Trust to fund local projects that will restore Chesapeake Bay over the next four years.

This is the largest single investment in the Chesapeake Bay Program, a regional partnership of public and private entities across six states to restore and protect the nation’s largest estuary. Its 64,000-square-mile watershed is home to more than 18 million people, making it particularly vulnerable to pollution.

“The Chesapeake Bay is the lifeblood of this region, supporting all those across six states and the District of Columbia who call the Chesapeake Bay watershed home — and those who visit,” EPA Assistant Deputy Administrator Mark Rupp said in a statement. “The funding announced today is strategically focused to support conservation projects — and the people who will implement them — over the next four years to restore both water quality and habitat.”

Most of the money — $193 million — will be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Small Watershed Grant (SWG) program and Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction (INSR) programs. Projects range from enhancing storm water infrastructure practices to urban tree canopy planting.

The SWG program funds community-based watershed protection efforts and has already provided more than $130 million to 560 projects. INSR programs work to improve the efficiency of water quality improvements and has funded 346 projects with more than $150 million.

The remaining $13 million will be distributed by the Chesapeake Bay Trust through a new Community Capacity Building Grant Program (CCBGP) established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). This CCBGP aims to improve the organizational capacity of groups working to restore rivers and local water sheds.

“These grants reflect our continuing commitment to protect the Chesapeake Bay and preserve our nation’s environmental legacy for future generations,” EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz said in a statement. “This historic investment by the Biden-Harris Administration enables EPA to continue to provide game-changing funding for our partners who are equally committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing the communities, people and businesses who rely on the Bay.”  

Photo courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Program

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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