As part of an expanded effort to rally local governments around the need to protect and restore the 110,000 streams and rivers that flow into the Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Program would like to recognize local governments throughout the watershed for taking steps to make their communities river– and Bay-friendly.

The Chesapeake Bay Partner Communities Program works with towns and cities to implement measures that will improve the quality of waterways in the watershed. Once these efforts are completed, roadside signs will tell residents and visitors that a particular town or county is doing its part to help restore the Bay.

Local jurisdictions will be selected as Chesapeake Bay Partner Communities based on their completion of a set of programs or activities that protect and restore their part of the watershed. Selection is based on a community’s population and percentage of benchmarks met in four categories: improving water quality, promoting sound land use, protecting and restoring living resources and habitats, and engaging the community.

The deadline to apply for the program is Sept. 19. Local governments may download an application by visiting www.chesapeakebay.net/commawards or www.baylogin.org Applications can also be ordered by calling 1-800-968-7229.