USDA Awards $1.1 Million to Reduce Chesapeake Bay Pollution - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

USDA Awards $1.1 Million to Reduce Chesapeake Bay Pollution

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP/WBOC) - The U.S. Agriculture Department is awarding $1.1 million to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and seven partner organizations to help reduce farm-based pollution of the bay.
    
The agency announced the funding this week. It will support about 20 livestock farmers in Maryland as they convert cropland to pasture or adopt new pasture management practices.
    
Pasture grazing is considered more environmentally friendly than feedlots because the manure is more evenly distributed across a landscape with a lower runoff rate.

"This much-appreciated USDA funding will help all parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed reduce pollution and improve the overall ecological health of the nation's largest estuary," said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "I am especially heartened to see the diversity of approaches and partners that will be empowered by these RCPP grants, and look forward to the continued expansion of these efforts in years to come." 
 
"These important projects will help farmers in Maryland and throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed continue to be strong stewards of our land and water by improving soil health, reducing runoff, and rebuilding habitat," said Senator-elect Van Hollen. "This cooperative process is critical to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and protecting our natural and economic resource for generations to come. I look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the Agriculture Committee in the Senate to maximize our investment in assistance for Bay farmers and the Chesapeake Bay."
    
The USDA says the projects also will focus on keeping livestock out of streams and establishing forested, streamside buffers.
 

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