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County Honored for Work to Help Chesapeake Bay

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Friday, May 6, 2016   

BALTIMORE - The Environmental Protection Agency is praising Prince George's County for efforts to address stormwater runoff that ends up in Chesapeake Bay.

There was $2.4 million recently awarded for 33 projects by businesses, neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations and nonprofits that found creative ways to use runoff.

EPA regional administrator Shawn Garvin says Prince George's County has been a national leader in creating cost-effective green solutions for controlling stormwater.

"What Prince George's County is doing is taking money and getting it to organizations, getting it to localities so that they can make those local investments that have a broader benefit to the county, have a broader benefit to Chesapeake Bay," says Garvin.

Some of the projects included cisterns, rain barrels, urban tree canopies, rain gardens, permeable pavement and green roofs.

Jeff Dehan, associate director of Department of the Environment's Stormwater Division for Prince George's County, says the "Rain Check Rebate Program" for residents and businesses lets them take an active role in improving water quality in the bay.

"It's open continuously, year round, for property owners and residents to apply for cash incentive rebates to put these projects directly on their property," he says. "That reduce the amount of runoff that leaves the property as well as these filters that remove the pollutants."

Garvin says everyone has a story to tell about Chesapeake Bay.

"I went fishing. I went to the beach. We used to sail. We used to skip rocks. We used to sun fish or trout it," he says. "And so it's our responsibility to make sure we clean it up and keep it clean not only for now but for future generations."

Jana Davis, executive director for Chesapeake Bay Trust says every effort to keep the water clean is a plus.

"Every drop of rain that falls from the sky hits the surface and flows into the nearest body of water," says Davis. "It encounters businesses, private homeowners, cities, city infrastructures and as a result, all of us have a part of figuring out how to reduce that and also how to improve the quality."


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