A crab on your license plate does more than let other drivers know you appreciate the Chesapeake Bay. Money from the sale of Friend of the Chesapeake license plates is used to fund projects that restore the bay or teach people about it.
The impact of this cartoon crab is felt well beyond the coastline of the bay. Funds are available to governments and nonprofit organizations throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which makes up about 60 percent of Virginia's land base.
Since the fund’s inception in 1996, about 1,000 grants totaling nearly $7 million have been given to groups working to restore the bay and its tributaries. Local groups have used these funds to restore wetlands, plant buffers along waterways, promote marine life restoration, decrease pollution and provide educational programs.
The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund recommended funding for 62 projects in 2001 for a total of nearly $440,850. The funds support projects ranging from $250 for "Conservation Days" for seventh-graders at Pocahontas Middle School in Goochland to $22,000 for public outreach campaigns to raise awareness on preventing toxic substances from entering Virginia's most polluted bay tributary, the Elizabeth River.
Funded projects are chosen from applications from private not-for-profit conservation organizations, schools and universities and government agencies whose projects affect water bodies located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The bay's watershed includes all lands draining into the bay.
With a little help from DCR's staff, the Division of Legislative Services manages this eco-friendly fund. More information on the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, including grant applications and guidelines, can be found here, or by contacting:
Division of Legislative Services
General Assembly Building
910 Capitol Street, Richmond, VA 23219