(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued this statement after Congress approved funding in support of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year.
"We want to thank the bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives from the Chesapeake Bay watershed for their tireless efforts to preserve investments for Bay restoration in the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2017.
"While much remains to be done, the federal-state partnership is now making real progress after decades of fits and starts. The dead zone is getting smaller, female crab numbers are up, and we have seen record levels of Bay grasses in each of the last four years. After so much effort by federal, state, and local governments and by the private sector as well, we must not stop now.
"Just as importantly, a healthy Bay supports tens of thousands of jobs—from commercial and recreational fishing, to vibrant travel and tourism across the watershed and the coast. CBF's peer reviewed economic report found that implementing the practices necessary to restore the Bay would create $22 billion in economic benefits provided by nature annually.
"Congress will soon turn its attention to the 2018 fiscal year budget. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation urges Congress to stand strong and continue the investments in clean water that have led to the success we have seen in recent years. Our health, our economy, and our legacy depend on it."