(July 5, 2019) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Maryland Coastal Bays Program $70,000 of supplemental funding on June 13. The program will allocate $20,000 of the funding toward its waste reduction campaign in Ocean City.
“Keeping the bay clean is one my top priorities in representing Maryland’s First District,” Congressman Andy Harris, R-District 1, stated in a press release. “These funds will help improve the water quality and preserve the ecological integrity that sustains the fishing, oystering, and other bay jobs and activities that are part of our way of life on the Eastern Shore.”
Typically, the EPA grants funding to national estuary programs once each year, however, organizations may come up with new projects that require additional funding.
“Periodically as the program period progresses … there are other program ideas that we have for funding, that weren’t originally included in our work plan that we submit to [the] EPA,” Executive Director of Maryland Coastal Bays Program Frank Piorko said.
Piorko said that the Maryland Coastal Bays Program would use the award to cover the cost of two projects, and potentially a third one as well.
A portion of the funding will go toward developing green infrastructure curriculum at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Piorko said.
As mentioned before, $20,000 will be allocated to the Protect Our Sand & Sea source reduction campaign. The campaign focuses on reducing waste, and has joined with almost 70 businesses in Ocean City.
In addition, Piorko envisioned using some of the funding to hire coastal steward interns, and place them in watershed locations so that they may spend the summer doing work related to green infrastructure.
“It’s very important that our…senators are supportive, which they are,” he said. “We appreciate them supporting the funding that comes to us, and that helps us do everything from improving and maintaining water quality and ecological integrity of the bay…to doing other programs that relate more to public involvement for improving our visiting guest experience…and [our] environmental message.”
For more information, contact the program at firstname.lastname@example.org.