The Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (Montgomery DEP), and with input from the Maryland Department of the Environment, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agency and technical partners on the Restoration Research Advisory Committee, announce six recipients of the collaborative Restoration Research Award Program.
Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries call for a significant increase in the number of watershed restoration projects intended to improve both water quality and habitat. Questions about the performance and function of some of these practices persist in the regulatory community as well as the restoration practitioner community. Answering these questions will ultimately lead to increased confidence in outcomes of restoration projects, identification of cheaper ways and better places to build projects, and information useful to regulatory agencies in project permitting.
“The health of Chesapeake Bay depends on the quality of the water flowing from the streams and tributaries in our backyards and communities,” said Mark Belton, secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “This program will provide more in-depth scientific data and measurable results to help local stream restoration activities and efforts that seek to mitigate the amount of sediment and nutrients entering our waterways.”
In the third year of this award program, two new funding partners have been added to the program: MDOT SHA and Montgomery DEP. Additional partners are expected in future years.
Montgomery County is required to treat thousands of acres of impervious surface as part of its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. “We want to employ the most cost-effective approaches to retrofitting impervious surfaces,” said Lisa Feldt, Director of the Montgomery County DEP. “We take our responsibility with public dollars and our responsibility to improve waterways in our communities very seriously, and improving our understanding of how practices such as urban trees treat stormwater will help us maximize outcomes.”
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly dedicated to improving the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake region through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration. The Trust’s grantees engage hundreds of thousands of individuals annually in projects that have a measurable impact on the waterways and other natural resources of the region.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust, established by the State of Maryland to serve a convening and collaborating grant-making role, manages the awards made through the partnership and ensures that what is learned is translated back to the regulatory and practitioner communities.
“At the Chesapeake Bay Trust, we want to invest our resources in watershed restoration projects that are placed in the best spots, can be done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, and are the best at their goals of improving water quality and habitat,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We are still learning a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and we want to share what we learn with those similarly responsible for getting projects in the ground.”