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A Few Thousand Here, A Few Million There

Many cash streams flow into cleaning up the Bay

Stormwater doesn’t stop running, especially in a Chesapeake season Noah could appreciate.
    Neither does money stop flowing. Thus Maryland’s Board of Public Works — governor Martin O’Malley, comptroller Peter Franchot and treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — still have money to spend. Last week, they spent $16 million of several continually refilling pools, including the Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Nonpoint Source Fund.
    Over $400,000 of this month’s funding flows into Anne Arundel County, where it will work to protect the Chesapeake in two ways.
    The lion’s share goes to capturing a drop in the bucket of Anne Arundel’s stormwater before it reaches the Bay.
    To improve the Bay-friendliness of Rockfish Bar & Grill in Eastport, former delegate James King and other owners get $368,232 from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Nonpoint Source Fund. That’s one we all pay into in the form of motor fuel and rental car taxes.
    “The Spa Creek watershed is so urban, more than 50 percent impervious surface, that all we can do is retrofit. We can’t remove streets, parking lots and roofs,” says Amy Clements, president of Spa Creek Conservancy, which brokered the grant.
    At Rockfish, the plan is to retrofit 1.5 acres of impervious surface for “zero runoff.” Strips of pervious concrete added to the parking lot will ensure that some water filters through. Water will also be directed into rain gardens and landscaping islands, where native, low-maintenance trees and shrubs will replace non-natives.
    In seven years, Spa Creek Conservancy has received and invested more than $2 million to retrofit 20 projects. Learn more at www.spacreek.org.
    Rising from another source is the $48,000 approved to clean up sewage rinse-water at Anne Arundel County’s Dorsey Run Wastewater Treatment Plant in Jessup. The actual cleanup is a while away; this money pays only for planning.
    Footing this bill is the Bay Restoration Fund, in which we all invest our Flush Tax dollars. Residential, commercial and industrial users of wastewater treatment plant pay $5 a month per equivalent dwelling unit, amounting to about $100 million a year to improve the quality of water treated and discharged into the Bay.
    From still another pool, Crisfield on the Eastern Shore in Somerset County draws over $6.2 million to build a wind turbine. The energy captured by the turbine will fuel the town’s wastewater treatment plant. Funding comes from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund.