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Richmond, Virginia- Twelve innovative environmental projects in Virginia and the District of Columbia have received a total of $6.1 million in grants from the Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to reduce pollution to the local streams, creeks and rivers that flow to the Chesapeake Bay.

The grants for these projects were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, which provides up to $1 million to innovative and cost-effective projects that dramatically reduce or eliminate the flow of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

"These innovative projects will have lasting benefits for the Chesapeake Bay and its network of rivers and streams, especially when you consider that they can be duplicated in communities throughout the entire watershed," said William C. Early, acting regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mid-Atlantic region.

The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and funded by the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program. This year, a total of $12.9 million was awarded to 24 projects in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Grant recipients provided an additional $19.4 million in matching funds.

"These projects continue to stretch how we think about agricultural strategies that are good both for the Chesapeake and for the farmer's bottom line, and stormwater strategies that ensure that those of us who live in cities and suburbs do our part as well," said Tom Kelsch, director of conservation programs for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The 12 grant recipients from Virginia and the District of Columbia were honored by Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at an event today on Capitol Square in Richmond, Va.

· The District of Columbia Department of the Environment will use its $800,000 grant to install LID techniques such as green roofs, vegetated swales and pervious pavement over 14 acres of the city's Rock Creek watershed where the Washington Water and Sewer Authority is currently separating combined sewers. This project was chosen after a 2008 scientific assessment showed that installing multiple LID techniques could reduce runoff in some areas by up to 90 percent.

· The Virginia Waste Solutions Forum will use its $799,998 grant to support the Natural Resources Conservation Service's work to deliver Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill funding to high-density animal production areas around Smith Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. The "Shenandoah Valley Clean Streams Initiative" will help farmers adopt cost-effective nutrient management practices that also reduce pollution to Smith Creek and the Shenandoah River.

· The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will use its $798,988 grant to create a "green corridor" of innovative stormwater management practices in downtown Richmond, including the capitol building grounds. The "Greening Virginia's Capitol" project will reduce by 65 percent the amount of polluted stormwater runoff that flows from these sites to the city's Combined Sewer Overflow system.

· The Chesapeake Club received $500,000 to create a new social marketing campaign that teaches residents of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia to better manage stormwater runoff on their properties. The Chesapeake Club will reach residents using a combination of traditional media and internet networks such as YouTube and Facebook.


· The Rivanna River Basin Commission will use its $725,000 grant to install runoff-reducing practices at four highly visible sites: Charlottesville High School, Crozet Wetlands, the new Fluvanna County High School and Greene County Community Park. Additionally, the Commission will create an inventory of opportunities for leaders in Fluvanna and Greene counties to install runoff-reducing practices on public lands in their counties. The two-year project will culminate with a regional symposium that will bring together developers, engineers, planners and regulators to learn more about environmentally sound stormwater management.

· The Science Museum of Virginia was awarded $700,000 to develop a low-impact development demonstration and training area that will be the first of its kind in central Virginia. The museum will install a green roof, rain collection cistern, porous pavement and other low-impact development techniques that will slow and filter polluted runoff from the museum building and parking area. This highly visible site will include real-time monitoring data and be used to train local officials, engineers, industry representatives and the public on how to manage urban stormwater runoff.

· The Iowa Soybean Association will use its $699,890 grant to create the "Bay Farms On-Farm Network" to facilitate among participants the exchange of nutrient management data. By learning about other farmers' manure and fertilizer applications, participating farmers will be able to fine-tune their own practices and make better nutrient management decisions that have positive environmental and economic results.

· The Chesapeake Stormwater Network will use its $500,000 grant to create a "Stormwater Training Partnership" for stormwater design professionals and local government plan reviewers. The partnership will advance environmentally sound stormwater management in four of the Chesapeake Bay states by developing training that teaches participants about more effective ways to reduce runoff.

· The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has received $390,000 to engage residents, businesses and civic leaders in the Reedy Creek watershed in reducing polluted stormwater runoff. The Alliance will conduct environmental surveys and stormwater audits to show homeowners how they can manage stormwater runoff on their property. Participants in the program will be able to connect with each other and share their success stories through a "My Watershed Experience" online network.

· The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has received a $325,000 grant to engage the Harrisonburg community in reducing polluted stormwater runoff to Blacks Run. By the end of the three-year project, more than 200 rain barrels, rain gardens, green roofs, streamside forest buffers and other practices will be installed. These runoff-reducing practices will stop 509 pounds of nitrogen, 78 pounds of phosphorus and 19 tons of sediment each year from flowing off lawns, schoolyards, public lands and commercial properties into Blacks Run.

· Virginia Tech received $319,000 to install "floating islands" of wetlands that filter and treat polluted stormwater runoff in the city of Fairfax's Accotink Creek. Virginia Tech and its project partners will design environmental education and outreach programs to help Fairfax residents learn about how floating islands reduce water pollution and what they can do on their own properties to reduce polluted runoff.

· Water Stewardship, Inc., was awarded $300,000 to conduct an innovative supply chain-based program that will help 50 poultry and dairy operations in the Shenandoah Valley reduce the amount of nutrients they contribute to nearby streams and rivers. The long-term goal of this project is to help participating farmers reduce their nutrient contributions to a level that is 40 percent beyond what is needed to meet government cleanup goals for the Shenandoah Valley's waterways.

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, visit


The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership that has coordinated and conducted the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. Partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; and advisory groups of citizens, scientists and local government officials.

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