It has been several months since the Trump administration proposed its federal budget, but we are still aghast at the draconian cuts to Bay cleanup programs. This week, the long-time editor of the Bay Journal released a comprehensive look at the depth and extent these cuts would have on cleanup efforts throughout the watershed.
The list is depressingly long. No longer tracking the impact of chemicals in the Susquehanna and Potomac river basins. Removing funding to understand and plan for the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. Eliminating programs improving public access to the Bay and its rivers and streams. And unfortunately, that's just the tip of the melting iceberg.
At first glance, these issues might appear just to impact those in the Bay's 64,000 square mile watershed. But a closer look reveals much more. As a recent NPR report exploring the Bay cleanup highlighted, environmentalists outside the watershed may have looked eagerly to the Chesapeake Bay as a model cleanup they could adopt in their own backyards. Though with all the cuts to the Bay cleanup effort, the model is at risk of deteriorating before it has a chance to fully bear fruit.
More importantly however, what's at risk here is a true national treasure. As CBF President Will Baker warns in the NPR report, if the federal government withdraws from the Bay cleanup effort, "I think…you would see the Chesapeake Bay revert to a national disgrace right as it's becoming a great national source of pride." Despite this dreadful budget proposal, it is Congress who ultimately holds the purse strings. TAKE ACTION NOW—Urge Congress to preserve funding for the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams!
This Week in the Watershed: Uniting for the Bay, WOTUS Downer, and Half Crabs
- Two thumbs up to the Maryland congressional delegation for uniting to protect federal Chesapeake Bay funding. (WBAL—MD)
- Right when the Bay is becoming a national source of pride, it might revert to a national disgrace if the federal government abandons cleanup efforts. (NPR)
- Bay-related programs are at risk of death by a thousand cuts from the Trump administration budget, threatening recent progress. (Bay Journal)
- EPA moved to withdraw the Clean Water Rule, relaxing regulations on polluters. (Baltimore Sun—MD) Bonus: CBF Statement
- Hampton City officials were encouraged on a recent boat ride with CBF, learning there are practical next steps in combating sea-level rise in the increasingly flood-prone city. (Daily Press—VA)
- We couldn't agree more with this editorial arguing for continued investment in Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts. (Daily Press—VA)
- School might be out for the summer, but a group of Maryland teachers are still learning outside. (Daily Times—MD)
- Scientists are recommending limits on the crab harvest for the second half of the season. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
- Pennsylvania students are working to make the eastern hellbender the official amphibian of the Keystone State. (Sun Gazette—PA)
- A jet fuel spill in Virginia's Hampton Roads raises concerns even greater than an oil spill. (WVEC—VA)
What's Happening around the Watershed?
- Easton, MD: The Clean Water Concert Series wraps up with a performance by one of the best bands in the D.C. area – The XPD's. Playing Motown, R&B, and funk tunes, The XPD's will have you on your feet! The concert is free and open to the public. While enjoying the music, be sure to stop by the dozens of environmental and community exhibits, including CBF's, so that you can learn more about the Bay and how you can be a part of the movement to restore it. Click here for more information!