The Chesapeake Bay is illin’ and the federal government is putting more than $18 million dollars into trying to make it better. The money is part of a federal/state partnership for various projects in 2015.
The largest chunk of the U.S. Agriculture Department money, about $12 million, will be used for limiting farm runoff into the Bay. Nutrients from fertilizer and other agriculture chemicals create “dead zones” that lower oxygen levels the Bay and kill fish.
Another $5 million is going to speed-up implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plans, requiring states around the bay to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. It’s a federal effort intended to obtain water quality standards for each of the Bay’s tidal segments, tributaries and embayments.
And nearly $1 million is set aside for forestry management to increase trees and wildlife habitat on private land around the Virginia-end of the Bay as a way to filter rain water before it enters the Chesapeake.
The grant was announced by U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“These Bay conservation projects are voluntary and locally-driven, and that’s a great way to move us closer to achieving the goal of restoring the Chesapeake Bay,” Sen. Warner said.