Pa. among states to receive millions in federal funding to restore the Chesapeake Bay

People fish on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, with a bridge visible in the background.

File photo: For an annual report card evaluating the 200-mile-long bay, researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 gave the Chesapeake a grade of 46% for 2018, down from 54% in 2017. All of the indicators factored into the bay's health index declined or stayed flat last year. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $40 million on Monday to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.

The money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also will be used to promote environmental justice and counter climate change. It is part of $238 million targeted for the Chesapeake Bay region over five years under the infrastructure law.

The new funding will help support ready-to-go projects throughout the 64,000-square-mile bay watershed, EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe said in a statement.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Stewardship Fund will administer $25 million. The funding will be awarded competitively to communities, non-profit groups, conservation districts and others for projects and plans to protect and restore local streams and habitat in the watershed.

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The other $15 million will be distributed to the six watershed states and the District of Columbia under the Most Effective Basins program. Pennsylvania will receive $5.6 million; Maryland, $3.2 million; Virginia, $3.1 million; New York, $1.3 million; Delaware, $750,000; West Virginia, $500,000; and the District of Columbia, $500,000. The funding will largely support farm-based actions to improve local rivers and streams in locations most beneficial to the downstream Chesapeake Bay.

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