Researchers from the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) have been awarded a $700,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an innovative proposal designed to help communities tackle storm water and reduce pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. The funding will help researchers to develop a strategic, community-based plan for improving storm water runoff, the fastest growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its local rivers including the Anacostia and Patuxent. Researchers will focus specifically on improving the management of storm water in Howard County, Maryland’s Wilde Lake watershed and the District of Columbia’s Watts Branch watershed using a unique and comprehensive approach that includes surveys, interviews, photo documentary and cutting-edge diagnostic software to identify problem areas, increase the use and awareness of best management practices, and develop solutions.
The UMD research team, led by Paul Leisnham, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, consists of members from AGNR and University of Maryland Extension (UME), as well as the School of Public Health and the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Leisnham remarked, “We’ll really know at the end of the project what works, what doesn’t work and we’ll have long-term, sustainable success.”
The EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program is funding this three year grant, which awards funds to various environmental science and engineering disciplines. United States Senator Ben Cardin said, “These are very competitive grants, they’re very difficult to get. This speaks volumes to the fact that the University has the capacity, as well as the relationships to be able to make a difference.”
For more information, visit: http://agnr.umd.edu/news/engaging-communities-cleaner-bay
September 24, 2012