|National Park Service Awards $1.3 million to Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Sites|
Annapolis, MD (08/05/03) - The National Park Service today announced 32 new grants providing more than $1.3 million to support locally initiated projects at sites and water trails throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 square-mile watershed.
Today’s grants will help designated Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Sites improve their ability to engage visitors in the Chesapeake story, provide additional public access to the water, or involve people in Bay conservation and restoration efforts. National Park Service grant funds are matched by at least an equal share of funds and services provided by the recipient from other sources.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network is a partnership system of more than 120 parks, refuges, historic ports, museums, trails and water trails around the Bay watershed. Each of these “Bay Gateways” tells a part of the multi-faceted Chesapeake story. Together, as the Gateways Network, they provide a way to experience and understand the Bay as a whole.
“The Gateways Network is a tremendous way for people to enjoy and learn more about one of the nation’s treasures - the Chesapeake Bay,” said National Park Service Director Fran Mainella. “Building personal connections with this great estuary’s special places and stories is a key step in supporting the ongoing Chesapeake Bay conservation effort.”
This year’s Gateways grants cover the Bay watershed from north to south, ranging from adding new access points along New York’s Chemung River Trail to developing a major new Chesapeake Bay Open Water exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. Other grants will help build trails, create new outdoor interpretive panels, expand water trail routes, as well as develop new exhibits on oysters, decoys and recreation on the Bay.
“Gateways grants produce things that help people experience the Chesapeake,” said Jonathan Doherty, Director of the NPS Chesapeake Bay Program Office. “Whether it’s using a new guide to paddle a water trail or viewing a great exhibit, people can develop a better understanding of the Bay’s overwhelming importance through these products.”
A Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Map & Guide is also available free of charge at most Gateway sites, as well as many state welcome centers in Maryland and Virginia. To order a copy by phone, call toll-free, either: 1-866-BAY-WAYS (1-866-229-9297) in Maryland or 1-888-824-5877 in Virginia.