June 20, 2012
CBF Thanks Senators for Regional Farm Bill Funding for Conservation
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) issued these statements following successful efforts by the region's Senators to ensure continued additional funding for agricultural conservation practices in the next federal Farm Bill. As a result of Senate rules against earmarks, the Senate Agriculture Committee had eliminated $50 million per year of cost-share funding for the region's farmers earlier this year. That funding has been restored as a result of agreements reached this week between the region's Senators and Agriculture Committee leaders.
CBF President Will Baker said:
"We are excited and encouraged that the Senate's Bay delegation has found a way to continue additional conservation funding that will help farmers reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution to local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. Senators Cardin, Mikulski, Warner, Webb, Casey, Carper, Coons, and Rockefeller all understand how important it is to reduce pollution and improve farmers' bottom lines.
"If we don't keep making progress toward restoring local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay, we will continue to have polluted water, human health risks, and lost jobs at a huge cost to society. Restoring clean water will create jobs and provide a lasting benefit to our children and future generations."
CBF's Virginia Executive Director Ann Jennings said:
"Virginia farmers have stepped up to the plate to reduce pollution, but more needs to be done. Thanks to the leadership of Senators Warner and Webb, the Bay delegation was able to add significantly more funding than was in the draft approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee."
CBF's Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost said:
"Senators Cardin and Mikulski have long been champions of Bay restoration and clearly understand the connection between healthy farms and a healthy Bay. Their efforts this week have significantly improved chances for Bay restoration by 2025."
CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director Matt Ehrhart said:
"Putting conservation practices on the ground cleans up local rivers and streams, and at the same time improves the farmer's bottom line. Thanks to Senator Casey's leadership, additional funding has been added to the draft Farm Bill to provide the resources to do just that."