EPA, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Trust Provide $3.4 Million for Green Infrastructure Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Maryland Governor Martin O?Malley recently announced an expansion of the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Initiative (G3) thanks to a joint investment of $3.4 million by the State of Maryland, EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
The G3 grant program, which is administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, helps support President Obama?s Executive Order for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Its purpose is to help municipalities and nonprofit organizations support projects that add green space and reduce stormwater runoff by using green infrastructure practices that increase tree canopy, capture and filter rainwater and improve watershed protection, community livability, and economic vitality.

?Supporting investments in green jobs and green infrastructure is critical in our effort to help our economy, protect the environment and reduce carbon pollution,? said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. ?EPA?s expanded partnership with the State of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Trust will support projects to improve water quality and economic vitality in the region through the G3 program. This funding provides another example of Governor O?Malley?s innovative leadership when it comes to meeting the State?s commitments to restoring local waters and the Bay.?

Maryland?s $3 million investment comes from the urban tree canopy allocation in the state?s FY14 Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund which is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The EPA is providing $300,000 and the Chesapeake Bay Trust is providing $100,000 for G3 projects bringing the total of available funding to $3.4 million over the next two years. By creating a one-stop shop, this collaboration will more effectively maximize resources and target funds, while reducing the administrative burden on local governments.

EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Trust created G3 in 2011 to support projects that reduce stormwater runoff through the creation of ?green streets.? A green street is one that minimizes the environmental impact of a roadway by practices such as reducing the amount of water that is piped directly into streams and rivers; creating rain gardens; installing urban tree canopy; using energy efficient lighting; and encouraging pedestrian and bicycle access. Green streets also provide aesthetic and economic benefits.

G3 projects increase stormwater management and treatment, empowering communities and states to better meet water quality goals, improving livability and walkability of communities, increasing tree canopy and air quality, and contributing to the economic well-being of communities through adding green elements to business districts and creating green jobs.

The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program is open to local governments and nonprofit organizations interested in pursuing urban green stormwater infrastructure and green jobs as part of an integrated community or watershed plan.

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