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Beaver Creek group gets watershed protection funds

October 11, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

With a $150,000 grant awarded recently through the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Beaver Creek Watershed Association will develop an assessment and protection plan in conjunction with the Center for Watershed Protection.

Funding also will support the association's partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's farm stewardship program, under which landowners commit to a 15-year agreement to protect and restore stream banks on their properties, according to Jennifer Caddick, director of communications for the Trust.

The project will restore four miles of forested stream buffers, 15 acres of steep shoreline buffers and wetlands, and provide for the planting of more than 4,000 trees and shrubs.

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Doug Hutzell, a Washington County resident and founder of the Beaver Creek Watershed Association, was honored earlier this year with the Ellen Fraites Wagner award for his work.

He is a longtime champion for the restoration of the Beaver Creek watershed, which is a tributary to the Monocacy River.

Hutzell, who was unavailable for comment on the newest grant, also is credited with organizing the farm stewardship program.

Nearly 500 volunteers and 200 students will be involved in the restoration and education activities. Project partners include Washington County Department of Public Works, Washington County Soil Conservation District, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division and Biological Stream Survey, Center for Watershed Protection, Antietam Fly Anglers, Trout Unlimited, Federation of Fly Fishers, Washington County Department of Education and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Nearly $600,000 total was awarded through the Targeted Watershed Grant Program, according to the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Projects funded through this grant program address the most pressing water pollution challenges facing a small watershed and, in turn, result in measurable improvements to water quality and wildlife habitat.

"The recipients of these grants and their partners are committed to implementing on-the-ground restoration projects that significantly improve local water quality and the landscape of communities throughout Maryland," said David J. O'Neill, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit, grant-making organization.

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