VIRGINIA UPDATE

From the Desk of Ann Jennings Spring 2015
 

Thank You for Your Dedication to Saving the Bay!  

Every year, we at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation call upon our members to help educate Virginia legislators about Chesapeake Bay priorities. And every year, our members step up to lend their voices to the call for saving the Bay.

CBF VA Executive Director Ann Jennings.

CBF's Virginia Executive Director Ann Jennnings. Photo by Wolfgang Jasper.

In particular, during this year's session of the Virginia General Assembly, our members came out in force, engaging legislators by telephone, letter, and in-person meetings. They literally walked the halls of the General Assembly Building and filled the seats during legislative committee meetings. Their message to lawmakers was based on a solid understanding of the issues and, more importantly, on personal connections to the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia rivers. This dedication of time and energy to the Bay is truly inspiring.

This year, our Clean Water Captains raised the bar even higher on active engagement. CBF Clean Water Captains are Bay ambassadors who dedicate significant time and effort to become experts on water quality issues and to translate that expertise and passion into action. If advocacy for water quality gets your heart pumping fast, I'd urge you to sign up for the next captains training workshop. 

And captains are effective! This session, the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate passed a state budget with unprecedented funding for Bay restoration. They also rejected aggressive but unfounded efforts to roll back critical water quality programs already in place. Simply put, these positive actions by the 2015 General Assembly mean Virginians will continue to see improvements in local streams, rivers, and the Bay.

The work of our member advocates are a tonic to all of us at CBF! Making the case for the Bay can be tough sometimes, particularly when state revenues are down and, despite our best efforts, some decision-makers have not yet fully appreciated the economic and ecological significance of a restored Bay. Knowing that our members "have our back" and are with us in these difficult challenges genuinely energizes us each and every day. 

On behalf of my CBF colleagues, I offer our heartfelt thanks for your dedication to saving the Bay. We really cannot do it without you!  

—Ann Jennings
Virginia Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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