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Big Boost for Bay Projects

PHOTO: The Chesapeake Bay Trust is announcing its biggest quarterly award - $1.8 million in grants to schools, communities and nonprofit groups. Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Trust.
PHOTO: The Chesapeake Bay Trust is announcing its biggest quarterly award - $1.8 million in grants to schools, communities and nonprofit groups. Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Trust.
May 29, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Dozens of projects to improve the health of Chesapeake Bay are getting a big financial boost.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust has announced more than $1.8 million in grants to more than 100 communities, schools and nonprofit groups.

In the next year, children might be coming home from school with stories about saving oysters, cleaning streams and planting bay grasses. Jana Davis, the trust's executive director, said the school projects create young stewards of the bay.

"It gets their hands and feet wet," she said. "It gets them understanding a little bit more about their natural resources, both on the school grounds and out when they do field trips."

It's still unclear how bay education and restoration projects will be affected by federal budget fights in Washington, Davis said, but public-private partnerships, donations and sales of "Treasure the Chesapeake" license plates are enabling the trust to award the largest amount ever in grants in a single quarter. She said the organization always is looking for new projects to fund.

"We love to help people write proposals and get the funding," she said. "We are a very hands-on funder. We answer anyone's questions; they can call any time."

Some of the larger grants help communities restore shorelines, create wildlife habitats and improve water quality.

More information about the grants is online at www.cbtrust.org.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD