Grants Awarded to Local Groups for Improving Water Quality and Storm Runoff

potomacwatershedMontgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Chesapeake Bay Trust have announced that $370,756 in grant funding has been awarded to 13 organizations to improve water quality and help manage stormwater runoff in Montgomery County.

The grant program was launched in September 2014 to support watershed restoration and outreach efforts and to implement projects that will improve communities and water quality in Montgomery County. Funding for these projects is made possible through Montgomery County’s water quality protection charge. The Chesapeake Bay Trust will administer the grants.

“The organizations announced today to receive funding will undertake some exciting and innovative projects that will greatly enhance the local environment and improve the health of Montgomery County’s waterways,” said Lisa Feldt, director of Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection. “We are pleased to work with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to administer these grants that will not only reduce stormwater pollutants and promote green infrastructure but will also educate our residents on the steps they can take to improve their own communities and local water quality.”

“Every day our grantees implement projects both large and small that improve water quality and educate local citizens on the community benefits of protecting our natural resources,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “Installation of these kinds of practices, rain gardens and trees, not only improves water quality, but improves aesthetics, livability, and even sometimes economic vitality of a community.”

The following projects were approved through the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Program:

1. Friends of Sligo Creek, $15,000: Support effort to expand a citizen-based pollution reporting system, Water WatchDogs.
2. Rock Creek Conservancy, $38,000: Develop the Rock Creek Park in Your Backyard program to educate homeowners about stormwater prevention.
3. Anacostia Riverkeeper, $27,685: Create program to provide stormwater management outreach and to install cisterns at three faith-based organizations.
4. National Wildlife Federation, $51,557: Provide educational workshops and promote the RainScapes Program on congregational grounds in Montgomery County.
5. Bethesda Green, $32,000: Educate residents and create a stormwater demonstration project at Glen Waye Gardens Condominiums.
6. Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, $31,256: Engage faith-based organizations in tree plantings on their grounds to increase urban tree canopies.
7. Sandy Spring Friends School, $49,997: Develop public outreach program and campus-wide volunteer project to install rain gardens, rain barrels and pet waste stations to manage stormwater runoff.
8. Montgomery Housing Partnership, $20,000: Support the volunteer Glenville Green Club, install a conservation landscape project and educate local residents about their role in watershed restoration.
9. Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, Inc., $26,331: Support stormwater design efforts and citizen engagement workshops at the educational center.
10. Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, $15,000: Create a stormwater management education video and awareness materials to educate organizations and the public.
11. Friends of Cabin John Creek, $42,000: Support an outreach coordinator, fund stormwater installation projects by the Potomac District of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America to citizen groups in four targeted neighborhoods.
12. Carderock Springs Citizens Association, $11,930: Support efforts to advance community outreach for the RainScapes program, provide neighborhood workshops and a permeable pavement demonstration project.
13. Muddy Branch Alliance, $10,000: Support program design and development of a County Watershed Stewards Academy to educate and empower resident watershed stewards.

Non-profit organizations, including Montgomery-based watershed groups, community associations, service and civic groups, and faith-based organizations, were eligible to apply. Grants were available for three types of efforts: public outreach and stewardship projects, community-based restoration projects, and “RainScapes Neighborhood” projects to provide support for widespread installation of rain gardens, trees, and conservation landscaping within individual communities. The 13 grant applications selected for funding were reviewed by a Technical Review Committee.

More information about the program is available at www.cbtrust.org/montcountywatershedgrant.


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