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DNR Announces Grants For Environmental Design Initiatives
Federal funding awarded for innovative site designs that counter runoff
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that more than $350,000 in federal funding has been awarded to local governments to apply innovative site-design techniques that will protect local streams and rivers while making communities healthier and more attractive. The Environmental Design Initiative funding was awarded to projects in Baltimore City and Ocean City and in Worcester, Harford, Anne Arundel, St. Mary’s, and Prince George’s Counties. A complete list of the projects and their dollar amounts can be found at the end of this release.
Impervious surfaces, such as rooftops, roads, and parking lots, do not absorb rainfall. As a result, rainwater travels over the surface and washes various pollutants, such as fertilizer, lead, copper, engine oil, gasoline, and engine coolant into streams and rivers.
To reduce runoff, innovative site-design techniques mimic natural conditions. By replacing hard surfaces with vegetation, plants slow the flow of water and allow water to be absorbed by the plants or to soak into the ground.
“Allowing rainwater to soak into the ground rather than flowing off roads and parking lots will significantly assist our efforts to protect and restore local streams and rivers and to reduce nutrient inputs to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Frank Dawson, director of DNR’s Watershed Services.
Examples of grant-funded Environmental Design Initiative projects include building a bioretention facility at the Hillsmere Library in Anne Arundel County, using permeable pavers in parking lots on several projects, planting vegetation on vacant lots throughout the City of Baltimore, mitigating runoff at boat launches, and installing a living roof at Harford Community College.
Two of the funded projects are in areas identified under Governor Ehrlich’s Priority Places Program: Poppleton in Baltimore City and Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County. Communities designated as Priority Places receive heightened assistance from state agencies; assistance includes financial resources, regulatory help, and technical expertise. The Environmental Design Initiative supports the first two designated Priority Places in Maryland.
For more information, please call Sean McGuire at 410-260-8727, or visit DNR’s website at www.dnr.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Coastal Program provided the funding through a federal grant received from the Office of Coastal and Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Attachment: Maryland Coastal Nonpoint Source Program - Special Award Condition for Demonstration Projects Project Summaries
March 17, 2005
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 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 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 11 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