NORFOLK — Virginia has received about $31 million for coastal resiliency and another $33 million for conservation efforts.
During the past two weeks, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded several Virginia cities and environmental groups with grants — with more than half directed to Hampton Roads — to build natural habitats, clean the Chesapeake Bay and make the state more resilient to sea level rise and flooding.
The bulk of it comes through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, which is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The NFWF also doles out grants through other paths including the Chesapeake Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction and the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants programs. Private donations and contributions from nonprofits were also matched to federal money.
This is the largest investment in the more than 20-year history of the NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF, in a news release.
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“As increased flooding, sea level rise, and damaging storms continue to impact Virginia’s coastal communities, it is critical that we do all we can to help promote resiliency,” said Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in a statement.
Grants from the small watershed grants program include projects like helping farmers plant more cover crops, which helps keep the soil from eroding and replenishes nutrients, and planting forest buffers to keep agricultural runoff from entering the south branch of the Potomac River.