(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature for unanimously approving resolutions designating the week of June 5-11 as Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week.
"Restoring and protecting the Commonwealth's rivers and streams, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, takes commitment and awareness on behalf of leaders in Harrisburg and citizens," said CBF Executive Director Harry Campbell in Pennsylvania. "Roughly 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania waters are polluted. Recognizing the importance of clean water in Pennsylvania and the Bay, and that the Commonwealth needs to get back on track toward meeting its goals of reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution, is an important first step."
The Senate passed its Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week resolution on Monday.
"The Chesapeake Bay is the largest and most productive bay in the United States," said Senator Gene Yaw (R-23). Senator Yaw is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. "With nearly 1,800 local governments in the Bay watershed, including towns, cities, counties and townships, Bay Awareness Week will seek to engage, strengthen and promote environmental stewardship in those local governments, as well as increase Bay awareness throughout our tri-state region," Yaw added.
The state House adopted a similar measure in March. That resolution was introduced by Representatives Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Keith Gillespie (R-York), and Michael Sturla (D-Lancaster), members of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.
"The Chesapeake Bay is fed by 50 major tributaries, the largest being the Susquehanna River, which provides 50 percent of the fresh water to the Bay," the House resolution said. "The Chesapeake Bay watershed is an extraordinary and vital natural resource, with some of the nation's most productive farm and forest lands in the Commonwealth's portion of the watershed. This productivity supported the settlement and growth of our nation and is a vital resource for future generations."
Legislators from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia worked collaboratively in seeking passage of resolutions designating the week-long recognition of the Chesapeake Bay. The resolutions encourage residents and environmental and educational groups to host events, activities, and educational programs to increase awareness of the importance of the Chesapeake Bay to the states, region, and United States.