Grants will help farmers implement conservation practices to protect the environment
ANNAPOLIS (October 21, 2008) The Board of Public Works on Oct. 1 approved $684,857.02 in agricultural cost-share grants in 15 counties for 48 projects that will prevent soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. These projects will prevent approximately 1,160 pounds of nitrogen and 496 pounds of phosphorus from entering the Bay watershed.
A $2,078.13 grant was approved in Charles County to provide fencing.
A $9,749.68 grant was approved in St. Mary's County for a sediment control pond.
Since 1984, 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, farmers have spent more than $11 million of their own money to match about $90 million in state water quality cost share funds to install more than 21,000 BMPs to protect water quality. 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.
The BPW is comprised of the Governor, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot.