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Annapolis, MD (February 11, 2009) - Established in November, 2007, the Trust Fund was created to provide a dedicated source of funding to accelerate Bay restoration by focusing financial resources on the most effective nonpoint source pollution control projects.
“This new approach targets the Trust Fund dollars in areas and ways that both our Baystat review process and the science show us will have the best results,” said Governor O’Malley. “It allows us to select those projects that will deliver the greatest possible benefits to the Chesapeake Bayand its tributaries.”
Generated from rental car and motor fuel tax revenue, the Trust Fund for fiscal year 2009 is valued at $9.6 million; the Governor has proposed $25 million in funding for fiscal year 2010.
The Chesapeakeand Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund finances a variety of practices that help reduce nutrients and sediment in the Bay and its tributaries. Over $6 million was budgeted for agricultural practices such as cover crops, buffer planting and animal waste management in 2009. These practices are slated to receive $13.9 million in 2010. Pending approval by the Board of Public Works, individual urban and suburban stormwater projects and comprehensive watershed restoration programs will receive $11.3 million over the next two fiscal years.
8 MarylandCountiesand BaltimoreCityhave been identified to receive funding:
The Trust Fund will work with the individual jurisdictions to develop the agreements and specific funding levels needed to implement their projects.
“This grant money is critical because it will allow HowardCountyto continue its commitment to performing restoration projects in the Little Patuxent River Watershed,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “We believe the multi-party approach with Howard County Government, the Columbia Association, and General Growth Properties is a unique opportunity to bring together a non-profit, a private business, and local government to make meaningful improvements to this vital watershed.”
Proposals for grants were evaluated using several criteria including; readiness to proceed, project efficiency, leveraging of funds, partner support and priority watersheds.
For FY 09 and FY 10, Maryland’s BayStat ( http://www.baystat.maryland.gov) developed priority funding areas using information from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Report Card, the USGS Sparrow model, and best professional judgment. Governor O’Malley created BayStatin February, 2007 as a statewide tool to assess, coordinate and target Maryland’s Bay restoration programs. The BayStatobjectives for the Trust Fund grants is to evaluate proposals based on the best available scientific information regarding water quality conditions and cost-effectiveness of nutrient and sediment control measures.
Proposals were also subject to review by a 15 member Scientific Advisory Panel with experience in a variety of disciplines including water quality, resource economics, agriculture, engineering, growth and developing policy.
In response to the charge of the Trust Fund, Marylandhas established programs and services that connect Marylandcommunities interested in undertaking comprehensive watershed restoration projects to appropriate resources. The Watershed Assistance Collaborative ( http://www.dnr.state.md.us/bay/czm/2010tfs.html) assists local communities with watershed protection and restoration planning and implementation by integrating partners, leveraging funds, and providing new tools and resources. Key partnerships with the State include the Universityof Maryland SeaGrant Extension, EnvironmentalFinanceCenter, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Federal partners the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Collaborative offers funding for technical assistance, outreach and training opportunities, and on-the-ground personnel to augment local level nonpoint source activities and projects.
Introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley in October 2008, Smart, Green & Growing (http://www.green.maryland.gov/) was created to strengthen the state’s leadership role in fostering smarter, more sustainable growth and inspire action among all Marylanders to achieve a more sustainable future. The Initiative brings together state agencies, local governments, businesses and citizens to create more livable communities, improve transportation options, reduce the state’s carbon footprint, support resource based industry, invest in green technologies, preserve valuable resource lands and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.DNR.Maryland.gov.
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