Chesapeake Bay Watershed to Benefit from $9.6 Million in Watershed Restoration Grants

Grants from NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Stewardship Fund provide equitable investments in clean water, climate resilience, and community engagement

Blue crab, Chesapeake Bay

QUEEN ANNE, MD (October 16, 2023) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $9.6 million in grant awards to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. NFWF and EPA representatives joined Members of Congress, local leaders and community members at Black Dog Farm in Queen Anne, Maryland, to announce the awards. The 10 grants will leverage more than $9.4 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of just over $19 million.

The grants were awarded through the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program (INSR), a core grant program of the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program partnership that are administered under NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF). CBSF is a partnership between NFWF and EPA that provides grant funding, technical assistance, and networking and information sharing in support of local, on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams. 

“The grants announced today build on decades of success through NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in advancing on-the-ground, voluntary, and community-based approaches to accelerate water quality improvements for the bay and its tributary rivers and streams,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Beyond local benefits for water quality, these grants demonstrate how strategic and focused approaches can both enhance resilience for the bay’s human and wildlife communities and help restore vital living resources across the bay watershed.”

The 10 grants announced today will support local implementation of critical, natural and nature-based watershed restoration practices that provide long-term water quality improvement benefits, improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat for at-risk species, and enhance climate resilience for human and wildlife communities. 

These projects will further emphasize partnerships and collaborative approaches as central to effective local and regional ecosystem restoration efforts and engagement of local communities in the planning, design, and implementation of restoration and conservation efforts. The funds will help partners engage farmers and agricultural producers, community-based organizations, homeowners, churches, businesses, and municipalities to improve local water quality and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.  

Examples of this year’s grant recipients include:

  • Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. ($999,300) will create cost-share programs to accelerate the adoption of sustainable and resilient chicken farming practices in Maryland and Virginia’s Delmarva Peninsula and improve riparian buffers, precision nutrient management, conservation drainage and litter management.
  • Backyard Basecamp ($984,900) will implement nature-based stormwater solutions and enhance stream daylighting to build resilience to flooding in East Baltimore and provide improved access to community green space. 
  • The Pennsylvania State University ($1,000,000) will engage congregations through volunteer programs to initiate green infrastructure projects in places of worship and support congregational members in adopting conservation practices on their farms.
  • Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe ($1,000,000) will reclaim and restore parts of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe’s ancestral lands through invasive-species removal; planting native grasses and trees to enhance both upland, riparian, and wetland habitats; and restoring channelized streams.

A complete list of the 2023 Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grants recipients is available here. See a list of quotes from elected officials about today’s grant announcement here.

Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $133 million to 229 projects that have reduced 23 million pounds of nitrogen, 4 million pounds of phosphorus, and 500,000 tons of sediment across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2023 Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grants slate, visit

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate, foundation and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion. NFWF is an equal opportunity provider. Learn more at

About the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Grants
Every year, EPA awards more than $4 billion in funding for grants and other assistance agreements. From small non-profit organizations to large state governments, EPA works to help many visionary organizations achieve their environmental goals. With countless success stories over the years, EPA grants remain a chief tool to protect human health and the environment.

About the Chesapeake Bay Program
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership consisting of federal, state and local governments, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations. Primarily funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Chesapeake Bay Program has set the guidance and policy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. Learn more at

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Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166,