Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network will get a 50 percent boost in the coming year, clearing the way for another round of grants to existing and potential new participants in the network of special Bay places.

Congress approved an increase for the program from the $800,000 it received this year to $1.2 million for the 2002 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

The Gateways Network, which is coordinated by the National Park Service, is a linked system of museums, wildlife refuges, parks and other sites that highlight the Bay’s natural, historical and cultural heritage.

Since it was launched last year, the network has grown to include more than 90 sites and river trails. The increased appropriation will allow grants to existing and new network sites for projects that improve Bay access or help to tell Bay-related stories.

The Park Service expects to release guidance for its next round of grants in early December, with an expected application deadline in midwinter.

In addition, the Park Service is expanding the nomination criteria for new Gateways, to allow for the nomination of sites in the Upper Bay watershed. Previously, the Gateway site nominations were limited to the area below the “fall line,” which roughly defines the tidal Bay region.

Meanwhile, five workshops are planned for late November and early December to help designated gateways and potential nominees for the network learn more about the grant program, and to get tips about how to translate project ideas into grant proposals.

Workshops are set for:

  • Nov. 27: Annapolis, MD, Chesapeake Bay Program Office
  • Nov. 2: Salisbury, MD, Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
  • Dec. 13: Yorktown, VA, Waterman’s Museum
  • Dec. 14: North East, MD, Cecil County Community College
  • Dec. 19: near Colonial Beach, VA, George Washington Birthplace National Monument

All workshops are scheduled 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Workshop size is limited and restricted to participants from existing gateways, or representatives from prospective gateways sites.

For questions or comments, contact Susan Still, Gateways Workshop coordinator, at 301-946-9475.

For information about the network, including a list of participating sites, visitor information and guidance on the Gateway nomination process, visit its web site at