Federal Funding Available For Innovative Stormwater Runoff Projects
ANNAPOLIS — With the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) today, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that funding is available for State and local governments to design, engineer, and construct innovative stormwater projects. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to partner with local governments to apply for funding.
The funding, $700,000 in total, was made available to DNR’s Coastal Zone Management Division and Environmental Design Program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The funding will be issued on a competitive basis, and the deadline for submissions is July 2. DNR will work closely with applicants to develop project submittals.
Projects must be on already developed lands within Maryland’s Coastal Zone (which are local governments east of Carroll, Howard, and Montgomery Counties, exclusive). The Environmental Design Initiative will fund in-the-ground projects to remove pavement and install more natural infiltration techniques. Eligible projects include living roofs, permeable pavers that allow rainwater to seep into the soil, rain collection devices for widespread use, and bioretention facilities for parking lots.
“Allowing rain water to infiltrate into the ground rather than flowing off roads and parking lots will significantly assist in our ongoing efforts to protect and restore local streams and rivers and reduce nutrient inputs to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Frank Dawson, Director of Watershed Services for DNR. “The projects funded from the initiative will put into practice what past research and reports have recommended.”
Nutrient pollution from urban runoff is the fastest growing source in Maryland. Managing urban runoff reduces the amount of nutrient pollution entering the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays, maintains Maryland’s commitment to regional Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, and sustains progress in protecting local streams and rivers.
Innovative stormwater techniques mimic pre-development conditions by replacing pavement and other hard surfaces with plants and natural ground cover. By removing impervious surfaces, water is able to infiltrate into the soil, groundwater and aquifers are recharged, and plants are able to remove many pollutants before entering nearby waterways.
For more information, please contact Sean McGuire at 410-260-8727 or visit DNR’s website at www.dnr.maryland.gov.
Posted April 12, 2004