Vegetated retaining wall system contributes to improved water quality in Chesapeake Bay watershed

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• SmartSlope -- Recognized for its unique innovation and contributions to the environment

BALTIMORE, MD, Feb. 3, 2010 -- Baltimore-based Furbish Company announces that its latest addition to the company's line of sustainable products and services, SmartSlope, a vegetated living retaining wall system, has been recognized for its innovation and contributions that improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund, administered by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), a unit of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, has awarded Furbish Company $81K. Fund recipients are jointly selected by Mtech and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

More articles about the Chesapeake Bay watershed >

The fund invests $250K annually, this year awarding $81K to SmartSlope. Previous fund recipients include Traffax and Zymetis. The Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund is established with the goal of accelerating Bay restoration through the improvement of water quality in new and innovative ways.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources promotes natural living shorelines wherever conditions allow; SmartSlope features make it a potential alternative when living shoreline techniques are not applicable. Selected in part due to its ecological features, SmartSlope easily demonstrated the qualities of a sustainable solution, where concrete non-vegetated walls are traditionally used. SmartSlope is an eco-conscious option, one that makes a considerable contribution to the environment.

Furbish Company, the parent company, makes certain that the modules are made with post-consumer recycled materials that use 50 percent less concrete than traditional retaining walls, helping to reduce heat island effects and stormwater runoff while creating urban habitats. Erosion control and nutrient absorption are also increased, and SmartSlope's local production can contribute to LEED points being earned on projects. Their key innovation is the ability to create the concrete modules locally and cost-effectively, eliminating the need to transport the heavy components long distances.

The award will be used by Furbish Company to accelerate initial market penetration in the mid-Atlantic region. The Furbish Company designs, sells, installs, and maintains the vegetated retaining wall system, and believes the development of SmartSlope has revolutionized living retaining wall technology.

"We looked at Smartslope as a business investment for the state of Maryland in addition to its positive environmental impact on the Chesapeake Bay," said Jim Chung, Director of the Mtech Venture Accelerator Program. "It's an investment with both an economic and environmental return that will enable us to continue supporting additional emerging companies with innovative green technologies."

SmartSlope is currently available in the mid-Atlantic region, and has plans to expand nationally. Visit www.smartslope.com for additional information and availability, and follow @SmartSlope on Twitter for product and project updates.

Furbish Company designs and installs green roofs and living retaining walls. Learn more at www.furbishco.com.

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