OCEAN CITY – The Maryland Coastal Bays Program, in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, awarded $25,000 to 10 local organizations and community groups to conduct projects to educate the community and help protect wildlife and water quality in the Coastal Bays watershed.
Through the Community Stewardship Mini-Grants Program, the Coastal Bays Program has funded over 70 projects totaling more than $190,000 over the past eight years. Total requests have reached over $330,000.
Applicants who received funding this year include:
Aloha Garden-Vegetated Wetland Buffer (OC Surfrider Foundation-$3,000): Project will enhance the Aloha Garden at Northside Park.
Nature and Heritage of Maryland’s Coastal Bays (Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences-$4,000): Project will develop interpretive training for regional park, museum and environmental organization interpreters; residents interested in volunteering at parks, museums and environmental organizations; and professional guides and outfitters in Maryland’s Coastal Bays.
Land-use Planning and Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Maryland’s Coastal Bays (Audubon Society of Maryland-DC-$3,000): Project will incorporate important bird areas into the local land-use planning process and educate the public, elected officials and planning professionals about the bird conservation value of IBAs.
Rain Barrels for Ocean Pines ($1,500) & Environmental Messaging for the Ocean Pines Community (Ocean Pines Environment & Natural Assets Advisory Committee-$1,750): Projects include a rain barrel workshop for Ocean Pines residents and public education including placement of signs throughout the community to raise awareness about local wildlife and habitat.
Maryland Coast Day (Assateague Coastal Trust-$1,840): Funding supports the annual event.
Landowner Training Course: The Woods in Your Backyard (Worcester County Dept. of Comprehensive Planning-$1,060): Worcester County will hold a wildlife habitat management workshop focusing on forest and tree care and wildlife management practices for landowners owning up to 10 acres of forest.
Coast Kids (Assateague Coastal Trust/Coast Kids-$4,000): Funds will help to print monthly Coast Cards about local conservation issues and pay for two additional projects.
Rain Garden “How To” Manual for Homeowners (Town of Ocean City-$4,000): Funds will help to print step-by-step instruction manuals for sizing, building and planting a rain garden.
Development of Educational Tools Teaching Youth about Shrinking Habitats in the MD Coastal Bays (Worcester County 4-H-$920): School programs focus on loss of habitat and point and non-point source pollution.