Reeves Bay watershed residents now have an opportunity to earn cash toward landscaping while helping preserve nearby waters.
The Peconic Estuary Program announced Tuesday a new rewards program designed to help educate residents and reduce pollutants from entering bay waters.
The pilot program is designed after successful programs in Maryland and other states, said Jennifer Skilbred, education and outreach coordinator for the program.
About 1,200 property owners in the Flanders area are eligible to receive up to $500 each to build rain gardens or conservation landscaping on their property using native plants. The total reward depends on which project they pursue, and landscaping must be a minimum of 50 square feet, according to the program.
Homeowners can also install 50 gallon (or more) rain barrels, designed to catch rainwater to be used to water plants when needed.
The projects are designed to reduce storm waters from entering the nearby estuary, Ms. Skilbred said. Participating homeowners are also asked to avoid using pesticides and fertilizers.
A total of $50,000 in federal funding has been secured for the program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“It’s a first come, first serve basis,” Ms. Skilbred said. “The more homeowners we get involved the better.”
Program officials are working on developing a demonstration for the property of the Big Duck in Flanders, program officials said. If successful, the project will expansd to other areas across the East End.
For more information on the rewards program visit www.PeconicEstuaryRorgram.com.
Or, contact Jennifer Skilbred at firstname.lastname@example.org.