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Tax Time Help for the Chesapeake Bay

April 9, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay turns out to be a tax issue. This week of course is crunch time for taxes, and while Marylanders may be rushing through the details, an appeal has been issued to take a closer look at line 35 on state income tax forms. That’s the donation line for the Bay Fund, which helps restore the Chesapeake Bay and protect Maryland’s wildlife.

More than $1.1 million was contributed last year, in tax-deductible donations that Chesapeake Bay Trust acting executive director Jana Davis says goes right to work for hundreds of projects.

"These projects that are funded through the tax check-off dollars really occur in every neighborhood, every community, and in every county across Maryland."

Davis says neighborhoods notice the on-the-ground work, which engages more than 40,000 volunteers.

"Trash cleanup, tree planting projects to get kids outside learning about their environment, about their watershed. About 70,000 kids each year benefit from our grants."

The nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Trust awards grants for waterway improvements, and Davis says 90 percent of the money goes directly to the projects.

Last year's grants from the trust are credited with restoring 70 acres of wetlands, oyster reefs and stream-side buffers.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD