(RICHMOND, VA)—Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach) urged full funding for the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program in a letter yesterday to key House appropriators. While the current proposed federal budget would eliminate funding for the Bay Program, Taylor said that "at a minimum, the program needs to continue at FY16 levels." Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Rebecca LePrell released the following statement:
"Thank you to Congressman Scott Taylor for much-needed leadership at this critical time for the Chesapeake Bay. This once again shows that the Bay is not a partisan issue in Virginia. With massive budget cuts threatening the health of our Bay and our rivers, I am hopeful that Congressman Taylor's request will encourage the House Appropriations Committee to do the right thing and fully fund the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program.
"The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is working. Bay states are making progress toward science-based goals for reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. In response, the water is clearer, and populations of oysters and crabs are rebounding. But, the Bay is far from saved, and pollution continues to foul our waterways, put our health at risk, and weaken our economy.
"Congressman Taylor's district sits at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, and has the most to gain from efforts upstream in states like Maryland and Pennsylvania. Constituents have the Bay in their backyard, and waterways drive the local economy through tourism, fishing, and the oyster industry.
"In the face of these proposed budget cuts, Virginia's Congressional delegation must continue to do everything possible to fight for the EPA's Bay Program and the extraordinary partnership it sustains."