On Wednesday, March 27, 2024 the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced their 2023 Small Watershed Grant projects, and the Alliance’s four program teams received seven of the 65 total awards. Including matching funds, these seven awards come to a total of $4.7 million for restoration projects across the watershed.


The Alliance’s Agriculture Program supports farmers in implementing agricultural best management practices to restore the health of local rivers and streams.

Increasing Capacity for the Octoraro Source Water Collaborative (PA)

The Octoraro Source Water Collaborative (OSWC), a partnership of environmental and non-profit organizations, government agencies, municipal staff, consulting firms, and farmers, collaborates to protect the Upper Octoraro Watershed. OSWC’s 2023-2025 Strategic Plan renewed the partners’ shared Vision for clean water in this scenic watershed. This project will build OSWC’s capacity to implement the Strategic Plan by continuing the Collaborative’s momentum and accountability toward the Strategic Plan, meaningfully engaging Amish farmers as OSWC members, and connecting farmers to financial and technical assistance for conservation projects.

Initiating New Corporate Supply Chain Partnerships with Duck Producers (PA)

Introducing a new industry and corporate partner, Joe Jurgielewicz & Son, Ltd (JJS), into the Alliance’s Corporate Sustainability Initiative, this project will prioritize high-impact, nature-based conservation practices on duck farms in Pennsylvania. As one of the leading Pekin duck suppliers, JJS prides itself on its quality ducks, due to top-quality growing environment standards. This project will implement 65 acres of agricultural conservation practices, such as riparian forest buffers, vegetative environmental buffers, mortality composting structures, stormwater controls, and soil health practices, that will improve water, air, and soil quality while supporting the growth and longevity of sustainable farms and their surrounding communities.

A field with recently planted trees and an exclusion fence


The Alliance Forests Program works collaboratively to improve forest health, create new forests and tree canopy, inform and support private woodland owners, and communicate to the public benefits provided by the woodlands and trees in our landscape.

Propelling Riparian Forest Buffer Implementation in the Lower Susquehanna (MD, PA)

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in partnership with the local MD & PA Soil Conservation Districts, MD and PA state forestry agencies, NRCS, and other local partners will implement the Healthy Streams Farm Stewardship Program: Propelling Forest Buffer Implementation Along the Mason Dixon. This collaborative conservation incentive program will accelerate the adoption and establishment of riparian forest buffers by agricultural producers in Cecil, Harford, and Baltimore Counties in Maryland and York and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania by addressing the specific conservation needs of their whole farm operation. As these buffers become established, the project will restore 30 miles of riparian forest habitat, plant 48,000 trees, and reduce annual sediment runoff by more than 1 million pounds.

Establishing Closed Canopy Riparian Buffers for Eastern Brook Trout in Virginia

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and partnerse will engage rural Shenandoah Valley and Western Highlands landowners to implement riparian buffers and promote the connectivity of fragmented eastern brook trout habitats along with other cold-water animal species. The Alliance will work with project partners to develop an incentive program to assist landowners in installing and maintaining riparian forest buffers to ensure habitat establishment. A per acre bonus incentive payment shall be available to assist in the installation of agricultural best management practices as needed on the farm to help further conserve the natural environment.

Green Infrastructure

The Alliance’s Green Infrastructure Program reduces stormwater runoff by implementing conservation landscaping practices that improve water quality and support healthy landscapes throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Community-Informed Restoration Design in Cape St. Claire (MD)

This project will advance design and permitting for five distinct restoration sites in the Cape St. Claire community in Annapolis, MD, including living shorelines, stream restoration, and a stormwater best management practice. The five sites in the project will total approximately 1,625 linear feet of shoreline restoration/enhancement and 900 linear feet of stream restoration that will support herring, black ducks, and other native species.

Developing Community Ambassadors for Shoreline Best Management Practices in Anne Arundel County (MD)

By developing community ambassadors, the Bay Protector Pilot Program will promote behavior change and knowledge-sharing of shoreline best management practices among shoreline property owners in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Once implemented, these behavior changes will result in activities that foster restored, enhanced, and preserved natural shoreline areas that will ultimately benefit water quality and wildlife, including black ducks and herring.

Thirteen people stand in a circle in a park.

Stewardship & Engagement

The Alliance’s Stewardship & Engagement Program engages communities, companies, and conservationists to build a more resilient landscape and foster a deeper commitment to improving our local lands and waters in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Strengthening Watershed Initiatives and Increasing Capacity to Implement Watershed Restoration (MD)

Assist underserved communities, conservation districts, nonprofits, local and state governments, and private sector partners to implement landscape-scale watershed and habitat planning, design, and implementation at more efficient and effective levels by strengthening networks. This project will organize nine watershed initiative tasks to offer information-sharing activities, overarching objectives of peer-to-peer learning, identifying areas of common concern and need, and developing solutions to common challenges.

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