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EPA awards $5.5 million to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Chesapeake Bay clean-up efforts

Release Date: 10/12/2006
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $5.5 million to fund water quality restoration projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 square-mile watershed.

The foundation will use the funds to manage the Chesapeake Bay Targeted Watersheds Grant Program, which has a goal of reducing the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that harm the bay and its tributaries. The foundation will administer grants through a competitive process to organizations and local governments that propose specific projects.

“The Targeted Watershed Grant Program is a great example of citizen-centered cooperative conservation supported by President Bush that fosters innovation while accelerating restoration of watersheds,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s assistant administrator for water.

The grant program strives to expand the collective knowledge on the most innovative, sustainable and cost-effective strategies for reducing excess nutrient loads within specific tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay.

“The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is honored to have been chosen to administer this critically important program,” said Tom Kelsch, director of conservation programs for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “These grants are helping to stem the tide of pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, and we are proud to be at the forefront of that effort.”

The foundation will hold a workshop on Oct. 16 in Washington, D.C. for organizations and local governments interested in applying for the new funds. Examples of projects that can be funded through the program include managing nutrient runoff, ecosystem restoration activities, and developing innovative approaches to control storm water runoff.

Primary funding for the grant program is provided by the EPA through its national Targeted Watersheds Grants Program, and its Chesapeake Bay Program. The Chesapeake Bay Trust provides additional funding for Maryland recipients. Grant recipients must provide at least 25 percent in matching funds and in-kind services to support the projects. Additional information about the workshop can be found at: http://www.nfwf.org/programs/targetedwatershed/workshop.cfm

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to more than 16 million people in parts of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Chesapeake Bay Program has coordinated the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed since 1983.

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