Reducing Stormwater Runoff by Partnering With Places of Worship

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Today, Blue Water Baltimore is proudly announcing a new faith-based initiative – fueled by a $250,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – to reduce polluted runoff in Baltimore’s watersheds.

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Uncontrolled, polluted runoff is the only source of water pollution still on the rise in the Chesapeake Bay. Stormwater running off hard surfaces like roofs, driveways, roads, and parking lots picks up trash, motor oil and grease from cars, weed killers, lawn fertilizers, pesticides, and dog waste and contaminates the streams and rivers flowing through our communities.

Because religious institutions in Baltimore City and County own more than 6,035 acres of land in our watersheds, faith-based groups are natural partners in our effort to reduce urban polluted stormwater runoff and its harmful impacts on our local streams.

Through a generous grant from the non-profit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and in partnership with Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, we will begin a new program allowing us to work with up to 84 Baltimore religious organizations.

“Maryland’s communities want to do the right thing by the Bay, but they can’t do it on their own. This grant will help limit urban runoff and preserve the Bay for generations to come.” – Senator Barbara Mikulski

In addition to supporting churches and synagogues stewardship of our environment, reducing urban polluted stormwater runoff from the congregations’ roofs and parking lots will also lower their newly assessed Maryland Stormwater Remediation Fee.

Faith Presbyterian Rain Garden
Faith Presbyterian Church’s rain garden reduces polluted runoff

This exciting grant will offer participating congregations access to Blue Water Baltimore’s free Water Audit Program, and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake’s Community-Based Collaborative Research process.The grant will also provide technical expertise and financial incentives to assist congregations in implementing runoff-reducing changes on their properties.

Although the project will roll out in force in 2014, you can get started today by enrolling your religious organization in our Water Audit Program.

When we conduct your audit, we’ll provide your congregation with the information it needs to make a meaningful contribution to the health of Baltimore’s streams and the communities through which they run.

Click here to read the press release [PDF].

Click here to read more about the grant [PDF].