The Chesapeake Bay Program will soon be seeking innovative, cost-effective proposals for projects that will help it meet specific objectives of its Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.

This is the first “request for proposals” by the Bay Program’s Budget Steering Committee since the new Bay agreement was signed last year.

In an effort to move toward fulfilling those objectives, various Bay Program subcommittees are developing three-year strategies for implementing commitments. Each strategy identifies a number of specific outcomes they would like to fund.

Those outcomes range from studying the implications of airborne ammonia on the Bay to promoting student participation in restoration activities to developing new nutrient control best management practices to conducting an exotic species workshop.

The Budget Steering Committee hopes that the additional information provided by the three-year strategies will attract more applicants and result in more innovative and effective proposals.

Local, state, interstate or federal agencies, as well as academic institutions or other nonprofit organizations may submit applications under this request for proposals.

Historically, up to $2 million has been available, depending on the amount allocated by the EPA and Congressional appropriations.

People or organizations that may be interested in making a proposal can examine the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement and the subcommittee three-year plans on the web at www.chesapeakebay.net.

Any organization that has an interest in these topics, the skills to accomplish one or more of these outcomes, and is qualified to receive a federal grant, is encouraged to make a proposal.

Matching funds are required for all projects. The match may be in the form of cash or non-monetary contributions, such as the use of land or volunteer time. In most of these projects, a 5 percent match will be needed.

Grants are through the EPA.

Proposals are due July 9, 2001. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions no later than January 11, 2002. Funding will be available for selected projects beginning in May or June 2002.

The full RFP is expected to be available May 21. It may be obtained by calling the Bay Program office at 1-800-YOUR-Bay, or on its web site, www.chesapeakebay.net It will also be published in the Federal Register.