Integrated Public-Private Financing


The EFC’s new Public-Private Financing Initiative is designed to expand the scale of water quality and environmental restoration activities in iconic watersheds across the country, including the Chesapeake Bay, Narragansett Bay, and the Delaware River Basin. Our overarching vision is to establish public-private environmental financing institutions and partnerships, capitalized with pooled investments supporting a variety of restoration and protection opportunities. Working in collaboration with a team of financing experts—public and private—from across the region and the country, the EFC is working to advance innovative financing structures and mechanisms, including water funds, green Infrastructure banks, and environmental market and banking financing systems.  The initiative is currently supported through grants from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office, and the William Penn Foundation.

 Related Documents

♦ Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Restoration Financing Strategy - Final Report

For more information on the EFC's Integrated Public-Private Financing program, please contact Dan Nees at or 301.405.5421.

Chesapeake Trust Fund Financing Task Force

The Chesapeake Trust Fund Financing Task Force is a new University of Maryland collaboration between the Environmental Finance Center and the Center for Social Value Creation, located at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.  The two centers will establish a student led Task Force, which will be charged with developing a detailed business plan for establishing a new public-private financing institution in support of the Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection effort.  The result of the Task Force’s work will be the development and implementation of one of the most innovative and potentially effective public-private financing partnerships in support of environmental protection. 

In short, this effort will result in the potential allocation and investment of billions of dollars in support of watershed restoration across the Chesapeake region.  In addition, the processes and models developed by this student-led team will have applicability and impact in watersheds across the region and the country.  The project is supported through a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Watershed Financing Incubator Project

Supported by the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office, the Watershed Financing Incubator Project is an expansion of the EFC’s Trust Fund work. The goal of the project is to facilitate the use of existing public financing mechanisms as effective incentives for private investment in water quality practices.  Specifically, our work is centered on: 

  • Refocusing existing state-based financing tools towards more performance-based investment and financing goals. 
  • Establishing public financing mechanisms that have the flexibility and authority to make efficient and effective investments in water quality.
  • Incentivizing investments from the private sector, through direct engagement with private firms, both in terms of financing and project implementation.

The project team is facilitating the communication and engagement of public and private financing experts.  In addition, we are working to establish relationships with organizations addressing water quality issues in ecosystems other than the Chesapeake Bay, including the Puget Sound in Washington and the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  The idea is to create an incubator within the Chesapeake Bay watershed that can be informed by the experiences and successes of other communities across the country.

Delaware River Watershed Innovative Financing Strategy

The Environmental Finance Center, through the support of the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently launched the Delaware River Watershed Innovative Financing Strategy Project.  The EFC and its project partners will convene an expert environmental financing panel charged with identifying innovative and scalable options for financing Delaware River watershed restoration and protection efforts.  The panel’s work will result in a financing strategy that will enable the William Penn Foundation and its funding partners to allocate capital and funding in a way that is catalytic and ultimately successful in protecting water resources across the region.