Gov. William Donald Schaefer has appointed County Executive Robert R. Neall to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, a non-profit agency that finances private bay cleanup efforts.
As a member of the trust's 19-member board, Neall will help award grants to groups undertaking projects to help the bay. The General Assembly created the trust in 1985 to solicit private donations and involve the public in the bay restoration.
Nine Anne Arundel County organizations received $62,000 in May. Grants to county groups included $20,000 to Maryland Save Our Streams to help Glen Burnie residents restore Sawmill Creek, and $1,000 to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to plant trees andshrubs in the Back Creek Wildlife and Nature Preserve.
Neall, whowas elected county executive last November, will represent local government interests on the board, which also includes environmentalists, business leaders and educators, said Rick Leader, trust program manager.
In five years, the trust has awarded $5 million to 170 groups statewide. Leader said Anne Arundel County has received the lion's share of money, largely because other non-profit, bay-oriented agencies, like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, are located in Annapolis.
Last spring, the trust awarded $252,827 to 72 non-profit groups, community associations and schools throughout Maryland. Grants went to Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville for teacher training, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on the Rhodes River to build an educational boardwalk through marsh areas, and the Berkshire Community Association in Riva to plant ground cover along Beard's Creek.
The money was raised, in part, through donations to the state's Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund included with state income tax returns and proceeds from the Motor Vehicle Administration's sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates.
Nearly 9,250 county residents have contributed $107,850 to the trust through the Chesapeake Bay tax check-off so far this year, Leader said.
The trust, which also sponsors the annual Chesapeake Bay Day, will award additionalgrants when it meets again Sept. 11.