Lt. Governor Anthony Brown announced today that the Board of Public Works approved $267,711 in agricultural cost-share grants in eight counties for 16 projects that will prevent soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Together, these projects will prevent 3,988.74 pounds of nitrogen, 1,550.61 pounds of phosphorus, and 334.30 tons of soil from entering the Bay and its tributaries. These projects are funded by state general obligation bonds and are not part of MDA’s general fund budget allocation. The Board is comprised of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Lt. Governor Brown represented the Governor at today’s meeting.
“Our farmers are true partners in protecting our natural resources and Maryland continues to support their efforts by providing conservation grants to install proven conservation measures and innovative, state-of-the-art practices,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “We are committed to upholding our end of the partnership with continued financial and technical assistance to help farmers implement their farm conservation plans. Working together, we’ll ensure a smart, green and growing future for future generations, preserve open space, and maintain the rich agricultural heritage of our State.”
For the past 25 years, the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program has been providing farmers with grants to cover up to 87.5 percent of the cost to install conservation measures known as best management practices (BMPs) on their farms to prevent soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.
Since the program started in 1984, farmers have spent over $15 million of their own money to match more than $105 million in state and federal funds to install over 21,000 water quality projects or about 2.5 best management practices (BMPs) per day, every day, for 26 years. Installation of agricultural BMPs on farmland is a key feature of Maryland’s recent plan submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce nutrients. Grassed waterways constructed to prevent gully erosion in farm fields, streamside buffers of grasses and trees planted to filter sediment and farm runoff, and animal waste management systems constructed to help farmers safely handle and store manure resources are among more than 30 BMPs currently eligible for MACS grants. For a summary of Maryland Agricultural Cost Share Program Grants by County, Dec. 05, 2012, visit: www.mda.maryland.gov/pdf/12-05-12_bpw_macs.pdf
The following counties received grants:
Carroll 3 $19,716.38 0.0 819.25 95.02 Riparian Forest Buffer, Fencing
Frederick 4 $37,126.72 291.7 18.2 0.5 Grassed Waterways
Harford 6 $110,683.17 0.0 1529.41 651.75 Fencing, Waste Storage Structure,Waterwater Treatment Strip
Kent 1 $3,344.04 23.6 3.34 0.09 Grassed Waterway
St. Mary’s 1 $5,989.38 98.69 13.23 Fencing
Talbot 1 $4,434.50 19.00 1.89 0.03 Lined Waterway or Outlet Grassed Waterway
Washington 3 $20,176.37 0.0 578.00 466.00 Heavy Use Area Protection, Roof Runoff System
Wicomico 3 $ 6 6,240.77 0 940 324 Heavy Use Area Protection, Waste Storage Structure, Dead Bird Composter, Structure
for Water Control