ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — State officials say they are seeking proposals for Maryland’s Stream Restoration Challenge.

The program started last summer seeks to establish 1,000 acres of forested stream buffers by 2015. The buffers help keep stormwater runoff and sediment from entering waterways and eventually the Chesapeake Bay, where they can cause oxygen-robbing algae blooms and harm plant life and other bay species.

The program provides up to $6 million in grants to local governments, school systems and other groups for bay restoration, service learning and environmental education projects. Proposals are chosen based on factors including effectiveness, cost and student participation.

Organizers say that 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 proposals through May 30.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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