This past year Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) competed for and won a $101,600 capacity-building grant from Impact 100 Northwest Florida. This gift allows CBA to purchase much-needed vehicles and equipment, continue and expand existing programs, and start new initiatives to maintain swimmable, fishable waterways now and into the future for humans and wildlife alike.
The mission of IMPACT 100 of Northwest Florida is to financially support nonprofit organizations in Northwest Florida by empowering women as philanthropists and leaders. Women who join Impact 100 contribute $1,000 each into a pool of money divided amongst selected local nonprofits through a grantmaking process. While the announcement of grant award-winners occurs in November, the selection process begins with a grant workshop in April, an application deadline in July, and a site visit from the Impact 100 team in August.
“CBA is so excited to receive this gift from Impact 100… Our lack of reliable transportation and appropriate equipment affects our growth and the types of services we can provide — especially in our bay restoration programs.”CBA Director, Alison McDowell
With the Impact 100 grant, CBA purchased a heavy-duty truck, a specialized oyster shell recycling trailer, a van to transport the education and restoration teams, and aquaculture tanks for growing seagrass. CBA will transform and expand its oyster shell recycling program and launch a unique seagrass education and restoration initiative.
By bringing oysters back to the Bay, CBA will improve water quality and habitat. By teaching students about seagrass and involving them in firsthand restoration work, CBA will bring back seagrass and give the next generation opportunities to connect to their community. By investing in oyster and seagrass recovery, CBA will rebuild the natural filters of the Bay and sustain our waterways for wildlife and humans alike.