NFWF Announces Nearly $13 Million in Grants from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund

Projects will support clean water and improve habitat and stormwater infrastructure across the Chesapeake Bay watershed

ESSEX, Maryland, Oct. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced nearly $12.7 million in grants to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in six U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The 47 grants will generate nearly $21 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $33.5 million.

The grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF), a partnership between NFWF and the EPA’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (INSR Program) and Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG Program). Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership. 

Grant recipients were announced at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and School in Essex, (Baltimore County) Maryland, where a 2017 Stewardship Fund grant to the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy supported installation of stormwater and green infrastructure improvements.

“To keep the health of the Chesapeake Bay on a positive trajectory requires all of us working together through cost-effective projects that protect shorelines and wetlands, control pollution and restore or sustain local fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who attended the grant announcement event in Essex. “The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund enables local governments to design and implement projects that will work best for their communities.”

“Protecting the Chesapeake Bay isn’t just a priority, it’s an obligation,” said U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. “As an Appropriator, I was on the ground floor fighting for these critical funds, and I am proud to have helped increase the pot of resources we have available for our mighty Chesapeake Bay stewards. These grants will help them help us ensure the Bay is healthy enough to continue supporting our region’s economy and enriching the quality of life of Marylanders for generations to come.”

The projects supported by the 47 grants announced today will support methods to improve waterways, restore habitats and strengthen iconic species in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The funds will engage farmers and agricultural producers, homeowners, churches, businesses and municipalities in on-the-ground restoration that supports quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and, ultimately, the health of the Bay.

“EPA is pleased to invest in people, partnerships and projects that improve the quality of local waters and habitat, and help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said. “It is a priority for EPA to support local actions that move us closer to our restoration goals."

The INSR Program awarded more than $6.7 million to seven projects, with recipients providing more than $12.4 million in match. The program provides grants to accelerate the implementation of water quality improvements specifically through the collaborative and coordinated efforts of sustainable, regional-scale partnerships with a shared focus on water quality restoration and protection in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

“The grants announced today will support on-the-ground conservation efforts that benefit people and wildlife throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants will help local communities and conservation partners restore and protect rivers and streams, improving water quality and the ecological health of the Bay.”

The SWG Program awarded more than $5.9 million to 40 projects, with recipients providing more than $8.3 million in match. The program provides grants to organizations and municipal governments that are working to improve the condition of their local watershed through on-the-ground restoration, habitat conservation and community involvement. Grant recipients expect to reduce pollution through infrastructures including greener landscapes and community outreach initiatives that promote native landscaping and improved practices for managing runoff. This year’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients include:

  • Maryland Department of Agriculture ($996,565) will engage 150 producers through outreach, education and technical assistance to implement improved conservation tillage, expanded cover crop practices, application of precision nutrient management, and increased prescribed grazing practices. The project will also expand Maryland’s Healthy Soils Program.
  • Gunpowder Valley Conservancy ($200,000) will conduct behavior change strategies to increase implementation of stormwater best management practices in Baltimore County. The project will install 125 rain barrels, 30 rain gardens, 12 micro-bioretention practices, eight Bayscapes, 24 Bay-Wise certified yards, and 30 stream cleanup events resulting in the protection and improvement of 24 acres.
  • Trout Unlimited Home Rivers Initiative ($192,540) will restore, reconnect and enhance aquatic habitat within stronghold patches of eastern brook trout. The project will implement aquatic organism passage (AOP) barrier mitigation and riparian restoration in priority watersheds, deliver an AOP barrier mitigation plan to county roads department staff, and incorporate community and student volunteers into restoration and monitoring on public and private lands in western Maryland.

A complete list of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund 2019 grants winners is available here.

Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $91.4 million to 183 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 1999, the SWG Program has provided more than $62 million to support 885 projects in the region to protect and restore the natural resources of the Bay watershed.

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2019 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grant Slate, visit

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $5.3 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at




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