Governor O'Malley Kicks Off The Stream Restoration Challenge

New grant program open to local governments, schools and NGOs

Annapolis, Md. (August 6, 2012) ─ Governor Martin O’Malley today kicked off the Stream Restoration Challenge. The Challenge is a new grant program where the State and its partners plan to establish 1,000 acres of forested stream buffers by 2015. The program—open to local governments, school systems and non-governmental organizations—will provide up to $6 million over the next three years to help to improve Chesapeake Bay water quality and create service learning and environmental literacy activities for students.

“Through the Stream Restoration Challenge, we will give local governments, schools, watershed organizations and other academic institutions the tools they need to make a difference and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay," said Governor O'Malley.

Maryland has more than 10,000 miles of rivers and streams that reach to every corner of the State. These water trails range in size from huge rivers to small, unnamed creeks. Maryland’s streams serve as the capillaries and arteries carrying water, life, and pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay. They provide recreational opportunities such as canoeing and fishing, help grow crops, fill reservoirs, serve as critical habitat for valuable and endangered species, and provide essential natural services to the environment. Restoring and protecting the health of these waterways is critical to maintaining the health of the Bay.

“Stream restoration projects offer a unique opportunity to involve students and other citizens in helping revitalize the Bay,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John Griffin. “These projects will provide an avenue to promote a deeper understanding of watershed issues and facilitate positive attitudes and behaviors that benefit our communities.”

Funding for Governor O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge is made possible in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland State Highway Administration and through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. The deadline to submit proposals is October 31, 2012. The Request for Proposals and additional resources are available at http://dnr.maryland.gov/trustfund/streamchallenge.

“The Chesapeake Bay Trust has long supported environmental education and stream buffer restoration efforts and applauds the Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge which combines these two initiatives,” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We are pleased to offer grant programs that will support complementary efforts of local grant partners that advance Bay restoration and environmental education goals overall.”

“The Stream Restoration Challenge complements the environmental literacy programs in many local school systems,” said Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, State superintendent of Schools. “It provides an authentic context for students to use critical-thinking skills and multidisciplinary content knowledge to investigate and help solve environmental problems affecting streams in their communities, and the Chesapeake Bay.”

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund is one of the region’s most important funding tools targeting water quality and watershed restoration and protection projects to reduce non-point source pollution from entering the Chesapeake Bay. Established in 2007, the Trust Fund allows Maryland to accelerate Bay restoration by focusing limited financial resources on the most effective non-point source pollution control projects. More information about the Trust Fund is available at www.dnr.state.md.us/trustfund.


   August 6, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office | 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 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.