By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Millions of dollars in federal grants are intended to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

When it rains, the run-off from roof tops and fertilized roads and lawns is what consistently harms the Bay.

The run-off carries nitrogen and phosphorous that ends up in the Bay and feeds algae blooms and dead zones.

Setting aside open space for rain to soak into helps stop the dangerous run-off and also native plants used as rain gardens to absorb harmful nutrients before they make it into streams.

A development in Middle River utilize the grant money to stop dangerous run-off. Other communities will share more than $12 million in new grants on 44 projects in the Chesapeake’s watershed.

“And we have done this about 17 times, where we got gardens, about 17 gardens like this, throughout the community,” said Purnell Glenn with Miramar Landing Community.

The grants are investments in projects, which in turn invest more people in the Bay’s health.

“To plant trees, to cleanup trees and install storm water management, with the goal of reducing harmful run-off,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger.

“An incredible amount of people, 3,000 local residents have already volunteered their services to help install these types of storm water management practices. It’s been very successful and we’re very grateful for the reward money,” said Peggy Perry of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.

The $12 million in grant money could help bring in more funds from state, local and corporate sources.

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