The National Park Service recently announced 32 new grants providing more than $1.3 million to help Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network sites throughout the watershed improve their ability to engage visitors in the Bay story, provide additional public access to the water, or involve people in conservation and restoration efforts.

The National Park Service grant funds are matched by at least an equal share of funds and services provided by the recipient from other sources.

Grants will help build trails, create new outdoor interpretive panels and expand water trail routes, as well as develop new exhibits on oysters, decoys and recreation on the Bay.

Maryland Gateway sites that received funding are: Annapolis Maritime Museum, Annapolis; Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels; Chesapeake Exploration Center, Kent Narrows; Queen Anne’s County Department of Business and Tourism; Flag Ponds Nature Park & King’s Landing Park, Calvert County; Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore; Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, Havre de Grace; Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard; Patuxent Research Refuge National Wildlife Visitor Center, Laurel; Pemberton Historical Park, Salisbury; Piscataway Park & Fort Washington Park, Accokeek; Point Lookout State Park, Scotland; Schooner Sultana, Chestertown; Smith Island Center, Ewell; Solomons Regional Information Center, Solomons; Sotterley Plantation, Hollywood; Tuckahoe State Park, Queen Anne; Underground Railroad Scenic Byway Dorchester & Caroline counties; USS Constellation Museum, Baltimore; Wharves at Choptank Crossing, Denton.

Virginia Gateways sites that received funding are: Chickahominy Riverfront Park, Williamsburg; Chippokes Plantation State Park, Surry; Kiptopeke State Park & Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Charles; Mathews Blueways Water Trail, Mathews; Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, Norfolk; Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge; Riverbend Park & Great Falls Park, Great Falls; Virginia Living Museum, Newport News; York River Water Trail, Mattaponi, Pamunkey and York Rivers to confluence with the Chesapeake Bay.

In Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River Trail - North Branch from Sunbury, to the New York border and the West Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail in Cherry Tree received funding. The Chemung Basin River Trail, Steuben & Chemung counties, NY also received funds.

A summary of each funded project is available at www.baygateways.net