(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Will Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, issued this statement following Senator Barbara Mikulski's announcement of her retirement:
"It is hard to imagine how the Chesapeake Bay will survive without Senator Mikulski. Just as her beloved oyster is a keystone species in the Bay's ecology, Senator Mikulski has been a political cornerstone of support for saving the Bay. She can take such satisfaction that after years of her determined effort, oysters are making an encouraging comeback.
"As important as oysters and other Bay life are to her, people matter even more. A healthy Bay means jobs for watermen, seafood processors, those involved with the sportfishing and tourism industries. It means peace of mind to parents and grand parents that their children's health will not be compromised by water contact. And it means revenue to Maryland as property values and tax reveues increase. The environment and the economy are but two sides of one coin. That ethic has motivated Senator Mikulski for 30 years.
"We can not thank Senator Mikulski enough. The breadth of her support is legendary. She has been a passionate and steadfast advocate for the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, oyster recovery programs, agricultural funding for conservation practices, water and sewer infrastructure, Poplar Island restoration, research on oysters, crabs, and other Bay life. The list could go on. Senator Barbara Mikulski has been a long-time friend of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and a champion of the Bay itself. I'm sure she will go out fighting for the Bay for the remainder of her term."