FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
19-Sep-2005
CONTACT: Melissa Schwartz
http://mikulski.senate.gov
202-228-1122

Sarbanes and Mikulski Announce New Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network Sites

Eastern Shore Receives 8 Grants From the National Park Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the 18 Maryland recipients of grant funding from the National Park Service for the sixth year of the "Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Program." The program, which Sarbanes authored in 1998, is working to link the natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries into a unified network.

The grants support projects at places participating in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. According to the National Park Service, the Gateways Network is a partnership system of over 140 parks, refuges, maritime museums, historic seaports and water trails where people can experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. This year, the National Park Service is awarding $1.6 million in federal grant funding. Twenty-seven grants are being made to Gateways throughout the Bay watershed in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“This program has been extremely popular in opening up new opportunities to enhance public awareness and involvement in our on-going efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said Sarbanes. “Each Gateway site tells a different Bay story, and enables people to better understand and appreciate the Chesapeake Bay and all it has to offer.

“In addition, these grants will help local communities and organizations improve desperately needed public access to the Bay and its waterways, and help to boost the economic activity generated by tourism and recreation within the watershed.”

“The Gateways Program greatly aids our communities in preserving Maryland’s greatest natural resource, the Chesapeake Bay, for future generations of Marylanders,” said Senator Mikulski. “The Chesapeake Bay is part of who we are as Marylanders. It’s part of our heritage and it’s part of our culture. That’s why I am so proud to work with Senator Sarbanes to keep fighting for the Bay and keep fighting for the Marylanders whose livelihoods depend on it.”

Eight of the 18 grant recipient sites are located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore:

The awarded sites are:

  • Adkins Arboretum will use its $120,000 award for the development of “An Ecological and Interpretive Gateway to Adkins Arboretum.” This 25-year-old arboretum on Maryland's Eastern Shore will restore a native meadow and garden on the site of a current paved parking lot; a new parking area with a natural drainage system will model and interpret Bay-friendly stewardship practices;

  • The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will receive $150,000 for the “Chesapeake Bay Gateways Regional Contact Center.” The museum in St. Michaels on Maryland's Eastern Shore will expand its role as a regional hub for the Gateways Network by developing a new information center and exhibits that give visitors a compelling overview of the Chesapeake Bay and provide useful information about exploring the Bay at Gateways region-wide;

  • With $111,987 for a joint effort by Pennsylvania State University, the Smithsonian Institution and two major Chesapeake cultural institutions (Historic St. Mary’s City and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum), the “Landscape visualization of the Voyages of John Smith and the Chesapeake of the Early 17th Century,” web-based project will employ the latest photorealistic landscape visualization technology to create interactive interpretation of John Smith's voyages and generate vibrant images of the Chesapeake environment that so impressed Smith four centuries ago;

  • The National Aquarium in Baltimore will utilized its $83,647 in federal funds for the development of the “Eastern Neck Island Water Trail and Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Trail.” Two new trails, a 10-mile water trail and a foot trail starting from the refuge's Visitor Center, will enhance public access and bolster the interpretive experience offered at this 2,300-acre refuge on the Eastern Shore of Maryland;

  • The Audubon Society of Maryland and DC is being awarded $51,016 to the initiation of a “Gateway to Science, 6-8” school program at the Pickering Creek Audubon Center. With Chesapeake Bay-based curriculum programs in place for Talbot County, Maryland, public school students in grades 1-5 and high school, the 400-acre Pickering Creek nature center will now develop a curriculum tailored to grades 6-8 and meeting state and federal standards of learning;

  • Dorchester County will receive $37,450 for two new interpretive exhibits – one at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center in Cambridge which will portray the role Chesapeake Waterways played in the Underground Railroad traveled by escaping African-American slaves on the road to freedom and another one at the Sailwinds Visitors Center for the development of a new master plan that will guide the future development of interpretive materials at this highly visible visitor center along Route 50 on Maryland's Eastern Shore; and

  • Sultana Projects, Inc. is being awarded $15,100 for its “Sultana and the Colonial Chesapeake” effort. New printed materials and an interactive web displays will engage students and the public visiting this reconstructed 18th century schooner with the larger story of the key role schooners played in the Chesapeake economy of the 1700s.

  • The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Program provides grants to non-profit organizations, and state and local governments to enhance places participating in the Gateways Network. The Program is coordinated by the National Park Service in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program and a 17-organization working group established by the Bay Program. The website is www.baygateways.net.

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