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$50 Million Milestone for Chesapeake Bay

PHOTO: The Chesapeake Bay Trust has reached a $50 million milestone in grants awarded for education and projects aimed at improving the health of the bay. Photo courtesy of CBT
PHOTO: The Chesapeake Bay Trust has reached a $50 million milestone in grants awarded for education and projects aimed at improving the health of the bay. Photo courtesy of CBT
March 8, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A $50 million milestone is being marked this week.

That's the total amount of grants awarded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to help nonprofit groups, watershed organizations, schools and governments with projects designed to improve the health of the bay.

Jana Davis, executive director of the CBT, says the money has gone a long way. Last year alone, more than 40 acres of stream banks, oyster reefs and wetlands were restored, more than 180,000 trees, shrubs and grasses were planted and thousands of students learned about the bay.

"We leverage about one-to-one in terms of cash match for our grants,” Davis says. “And so this $50 million in grant-making is really $100 million in the ground, and for our kids."

Much of eastern West Virginia drains into the Potomac River watershed and ends up in the Chesapeake. The run-off includes water impacted by the huge poultry farms in that part of the state.

Funding for the grants comes from Maryland "Treasure the Chesapeake" license plates and the Chesapeake Bay tax check-off on that state's income tax forms. Other sources include private companies, individuals, grants and state and federal agencies.

Davis says the trust has funded projects of all sorts and all sizes over the last 27 years.

"We have grants that we make are $25, literally, to allow a teacher to participate in a professional development experience, up to $200,000 to, for example, restore a section of shoreline."

Close to 10,000 grants have been awarded for education, shoreline restoration, river and stream cleanup and other "green" projects.



Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV