A stream in Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland.
Maryland is seeking proposals for its Stream Restoration Challenge. The program started last summer with the goal of establishing 1,000 acres of streamside forests by 2015, reports the Associated Press.
These buffers help keep storm water runoff and sediment from entering waterways and eventually running downstream to the Chesapeake Bay, where they can cause algae blooms that deplete oxygen in the water. That harms plant life and other species in the Bay.
The program is providing up to $6 million in grants to local governments, school systems and other groups for Bay restoration and environmental education projects. When awarding grants, the state evaluates proposals based on factors including effectiveness, cost, and student participation.
Organizers say this month alone, nearly 1,500 students involved in Stream Challenge projects will plant 30,000 trees statewide.
The Department of Natural Resources is accepting new proposals through May 30.