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Beaver Creek grant targeted toward protecting watershed

July 07, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Beaver Creek is going to be the focus of a two-year, $150,000 grant that is part of a larger group of grants aimed at improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, officials said Wednesday.

At a farm off Beaver Creek Church Road, Chesapeake Bay Trust officials on Wednesday presented a ceremonial check to the Beaver Creek Watershed Association, which will manage the grant locally.

"All water flows downstream, and it all ends up in the Chesapeake Bay," said Dr. Michael Saylor, Beaver Creek Watershed Association president, after Wednesday's event. "What we do to improve Beaver Creek tends to improve Antietam Creek and hence the Potomac (River) and the Chesapeake Bay."

The Chesapeake Bay Trust's Targeted Watershed Grant Program has announced about $575,000 that will go to four Maryland groups, including the one in Washington County, according to Chesapeake Bay Trust information.

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The grants are part of an effort to get farmers to pay more attention to the bay's health and make land improvements that reduce the amount of pollution into local waterways that make their way to the bay, officials said.

Part of the money that will focus on Beaver Creek will go toward studying the creek and its watershed and developing a protection plan.

The money also will be used to plant more than 4,000 trees and shrubs near the creek to buffer the land against farm runoff and other pollutants.

Officials expect as many as 500 volunteers and 200 students to help complete the project, which is being assisted by state, federal and local government agencies as well as nonprofit associations and sporting groups.

The presentation coincided with a monthlong canoeing, kayaking and camping trip by students from Rockingham County, Va., to study the effects of pollution and farming practices on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

That trip is being sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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