The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s agricultural conservation efforts recently received a significant boost in momentum thanks to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chesapeake Bay Program, NFWF awarded $915,000 to the Alliance as part of its Pennsylvania Most Effective Basins Grant Program. This funding will accelerate the Alliance’s on-the-ground agricultural conservation implementation work in Pennsylvania.

More specifically, this funding will prioritize agricultural best management practice (BMP) implementation and riparian forest buffer establishment on agricultural lands in Pennsylvania; ultimately supporting the Commonwealth’s 2025 water quality goals within the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Pennsylvania’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). Through collaboration with farmers, partners, local businesses, and municipalities, the Alliance will rapidly implement the most cost-effective water quality improvements to farms located in high-priority watersheds in Pennsylvania.

“The need for additional resources for farmers to implement projects to restore our waterways continues to grow. The Alliance is incredibly grateful for NFWF AND EPA’s support in helping farmers pay for this impactful work.”
– Jenna Mitchell Beckett

The Alliance will use a cost-share structure to support farmers unable to afford critical improvements. Best management practices to be installed include, but are not limited to, riparian forest buffers, animal walkways, animal waste management systems, and heavy use area improvements. Not only are these practices crucial to helping meet the state’s and Bay’s water quality goals, they are also important to improving farm functionality and ensuring sustainability into the future.

The projects made possible by this funding will be completed in cooperation with the Alliance’s partners at the Lancaster and Union County Conservation Districts, Team Ag Inc., The Hershey Company, Land-O-Lakes Inc, Turkey Hill Dairy, Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, Lancaster Farmland Trust, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Octoraro Source Water Collaborative, and Organic Valley.

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