Grant will improve water quality by prioritizing forests in restoration strategies. (October 4, 2012 — Annapolis, MD) The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is the recipient of a Conservation Innovation Grant award from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Alliance is one of twelve awardees nationally and five locally that received grants that facilitate and build infrastructure to support water quality trading markets.

“Forests are unique in their ability to improve water quality while also providing numerous other benefits”, says Al Todd, Alliance Executive Director. “This project will make it easier to incorporate forest conservation and restoration in existing and emerging programs in the Bay watershed. We will provide tools that help landowners and local governments.”

Because forests are the best use of the land for water quality, each of the Bay states is relying on forests to meet their Bay restoration objectives. By simplifying procedures for meeting a variety of existing regulatory programs, take advantage of new offsets for growth,  and providing outreach to landowners, this project will make it easier to use forest-based practices in local Watershed Implementation Plans and other programs including water quality offsets and trading. The Alliance looks forward to working with a collaborative team to carry out this project in the future. Aerial small tributary through forest and wetlands. Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program”The Alliance is already the foremost non-profit organization working to sustain forests in the watershed. We are excited to work with them on this grant and make progress toward our goals to improve the Bay, recently laid out in the Chesapeake Forest Restoration Strategy,” says Sally Claggett, Chesapeake Liaison for the USDA Forest Service.

For more information regarding the Conservation Innovation Grant, please contact Eric Sprague, Director Chesapeake Forest Programs at 410-267-5734 or email at The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay partners with communities, businesses, governments and environmental organizations to develop important programs throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.