The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauded today’s announcement that $14.3 million will benefit farms and help farmers implement conservation measures to improve water quality locally and at the Chesapeake Bay. The grants came from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program.
According to the EPA, funding provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), through the Most Effective Basins (MEB) grant program, is used to install forest buffers, manure storage, and fencing to reduce agricultural runoff from entering nearby streams.
In a press release, EPA said it is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to direct at least $3 million of the MEB funding to a block grant that will deliver conservation funding to farmers more quickly. An additional $4 million will go to the state Department of Agriculture and State Conservation Commission to support the work of the Conservation Districts.
The announcement was made in Lancaster by EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz and U.S. Senator Bob Casey.
Following the announcement CBF’s Pennsylvania Executive Director Julia Krall issued this statement:
“We appreciate the investments announced today by the EPA and Senator Casey. These grants are welcome news and will provide a much-needed federal infusion of resources to help Pennsylvania’s farmers keep nutrients on the land instead of in the water, protect herd health, and benefit family farms.
“Long-term investments in programs like Pennsylvania’s new Clean Streams Fund and Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, which is administered by the State Conservation Commission, can go a long way toward the Commonwealth meeting its clean water commitments.
“The upcoming 2023 Farm Bill will be another important opportunity to focus additional resources on farms in Pennsylvania to help achieve water quality goals and provide economic benefits on and beyond the farm.”