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Specialists from the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program played important roles in helping three Eastern Shore municipalities to secure grants recently for “green” projects. The money will be used to plan and complete projects to beautify the communities and improve water quality in the region.
The Town of Betterton in Kent County secured a grant of $91,045; the Town of Marydel in Caroline County, $47,460; and the City of Cambridge in Dorchester County, $400,000.
Jennifer Dindinger and Amy Scaroni, watershed restoration specialists in the Extension program, helped the three communities apply for the grants, which were awarded in June under the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Initiative (G3). The G3 program supports projects to reduce pollutants flowing into the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. Water quality improvement projects are important to help local communities working to meet federal and state mandates to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. The program is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Dindinger and Scaroni helped the communities in different ways. They introduced community leaders to the grant program, reviewed drafts of grant applications, and helped to bring partners together.
Betterton, located at the mouth of the Sassafras River on the upper Eastern Shore, sees frequent flooding on a main town street. The flooding is a result of aging and eroding street materials, which do not absorb stormwater. Scaroni alerted Shelley Herman, the town manager and zoning administrator, about the Chesapeake Bay Trust G3 funding opportunity. The grant funds, Scaroni explained, could be used to convert the town’s frequently flooded problem street into a “green street,” designed to reduce flooding and enhance pedestrian circulation and public open space.
The town plans to redesign the street by replacing the disintegrating pavement and sidewalks with pervious pavement, a type of paving that allows water to seep through down into the soil below. The design also includes the addition of trees and gardens along the street. The plantings will act as sponges and buffers to the flow of stormwater, preventing pollutant-carrying runoff from reaching the Bay.
The Town of Betterton in Kent County, Maryland, will use its grant to install a "green" street to handle stormwater flows. Photo: Crys Wallace
“Not only would we be helping with the stormwater flooding issues, we also are very concerned about the untreated water with pollutants that runs directly into the river,” Herman says.
This year’s grants, totaling the largest amount ever awarded in the G3 program’s history, were distributed among 34 organizations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.
-- Annalise Kenney, Maryland Sea Grant communications intern
Photo, top left: A sign at the entrance to Betterton. Credit: Marisa McClellan
Are you a citizen or an organization looking for funding and technical assistance for projects to restore the Bay's watersheds? Maryland Sea Grant watershed restoration specialists are available to assist you with your project. Read more about watershed restoration. Find out how to plant your own rain garden, a method of green stormwater management.