The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 10 nearly $13 million in grants to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in six U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

The 47 grants will generate more than $20 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $32 million. Two projects in Delaware will leverage matching funds of $2,596,635 for a total of $3,601,116 to support water quality improvements.

The grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF), a partnership between NFWF and the EPA’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program and Small Watershed Grants Program. Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership.

Grant recipients were announced at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and School in Essex, Maryland, where a 2017 Stewardship Fund grant to the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy supported installation of stormwater and green infrastructure improvements.

The projects supported by the 47 grants announced today will support methods to improve waterways, restore habitats and strengthen species in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The funds will engage farmers and agricultural producers, homeowners, churches, businesses and municipalities in on-the-ground restoration that supports quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and, ultimately, the health of the Bay.

The INSR Program awarded more than $6.7 million to seven projects, with recipients providing more than $12.4 million in match. The program provides grants to accelerate the implementation of water quality improvements specifically through the collaborative and coordinated efforts of sustainable, regional-scale partnerships with a shared focus on water quality restoration and protection in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

The SWG Program awarded more than $5.4 million to 40 projects, with recipients providing nearly $7.8 million in match. The program provides grants to organizations and municipal governments that are working to improve the condition of their local watershed through on-the-ground restoration, habitat conservation and community involvement. Grant recipients expect to reduce pollution through infrastructures including greener landscapes and community outreach initiatives that promote native landscaping and improved practices for managing runoff. This year’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients in Delaware include:

— Nanticoke Watershed Alliance will receive $38,629 to convert mowed grass areas between chicken houses into a variety of vegetative buffer alternatives to capture and filter stormwater runoff and serve as a demonstration to encourage other farmers to install similar plantings.

The Nature Conservancy will receive $965,852 to accelerate water quality and black duck habitat improvements through strengthened partnerships to advance wetland and stream restoration in priority regions and identify landowner priorities and constraints to guide restoration outreach and opportunities.

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