D.C. continues efforts to go green. (Courtesy of EPA)
D.C. continues efforts to go green. (Courtesy of EPA)

D.C. was announced among several cities that will receive more than $965,000 in funding for the Chesapeake Bay Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program (G3).

These awards, which were announced by The Chesapeake Bay Trust in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the city of Baltimore Office of Sustainability, are earmarked to help communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the amount of green spaces in urban areas, improve the health of local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.

They’re also are designed to create green jobs and enhance livability in cities and communities.

“We commend … all of the grantees for their winning proposals to support clean water and strong neighborhoods,” EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said in a news release. “This program helps communities reduce pollution to local waters and the Chesapeake Bay, while improving their economy and quality of life.”

The announcement highlighted awards made to 20 innovative green infrastructure projects that span Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, D.C. and West Virginia.

“The Baltimore Planning Department’s Office of Sustainability knows that it’s essential to prioritize greening in a comprehensive community development strategy,” said Lisa McNeilly, director of the Office of Sustainability, Baltimore Planning Department. “In fact, the recently updated Sustainability Plan and newly adopted Baltimore Green Network Plan reemphasizes our agency’s commitment to greening in communities with the highest concentration of vacant and abandoned lots.

“We are excited to support Baltimore communities through greening investments with the help of our city agency partners, nonprofit partners and the support of the mayor’s office,” she said.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Ricco said the state fully appreciates the connection of its neighborhoods, environment, and economy, and this program provides tremendous support for all of these priorities.

“We commend these local communities and organizations for their outstanding projects that bolster our neighborhoods, our waters and our outlook for the future,” Haddaway-Ricco said.

The work of the G3 program is intended to facilitate and encourage community integration of green techniques into traditional “gray” infrastructure projects.

As communities have to, for example, repave roads, reconfigure intersections or implement other gray infrastructure projects, the G3 program encourages them to add green elements at little additional up-front cost for big eventual savings on stormwater treatment, flooding abatement and other community benefits.

“This year’s increase in award dollars is representative of the increased awareness among towns and communities that implementation of green practices now saves money later, in addition to improving quality of life across time,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The funding partners in the G3 program have collaborated to make it easier for communities to get the resources they need to pursue these important multiple-benefit projects.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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