Late last month, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, announced the 2013 Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Grant Program, an initiative designed to support urban green infrastructure projects that lead to improved water quality within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Created in 2011 as part of EPA’s strategy for implementing President Obama’s Executive Order for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay, this program is open to local governments and non-profit organizations in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Virginia that are interested in pursuing urban green stormwater infrastructure and green jobs as part of a watershed plan.
“Providing cities and towns with the tools they need to help manage stormwater runoff and implement green infrastructure projects is crucial to the vitality of our local communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Through this program we’re able to build local capacity to implement innovative, cost-effective projects across the region that improve our waterways while we create local, sustainable jobs.”
Funding is available for innovative green street project planning, design, and alternative financing ($35,000 level) and implementation/construction (up to $100,000). All applications must be submitted online by March 22, 2013.
“There are tremendous advantages to local communities that choose to add green infrastructure components to necessary and already planned gray infrastructure projects, like street reengineering or repaving projects,” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “Not only do local greening efforts greatly enhance environmental factors like improved air and water quality, but they also increase community livability while improving economic vitality.”
To date, more than $600,000 has been awarded through this grant program to support local, grassroots-level greening efforts by towns and communities in urbanized watersheds that reduce stormwater runoff, through creation of “green streets.” Green streets are a natural systems approach that incorporates a variety of water quality, energy-efficiency, and other environmental best practices that increase infiltration and/or filtration of runoff, reduce flows, and enhance watershed health.
The Chesapeake Bay Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Academy will also host a webinar to discuss this Request for Proposals and to showcase successful grant projects on January 31 from 1:30-3:00 pm. This webcast is targeted to local governments and non-profit organizations in urbanized watersheds in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Virginia and will benefit anyone interested in pursuing green streets, urban green infrastructure, or green jobs as part of an overall integrated community or watershed plan. To register visit: http://mp118885.cdn.
For more information on the 2013 Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Grant Program, please visit www.cbtrust.org .