Congress Pushes Back against Cuts to Bay Funding
In a major win for the Bay cleanup effort, Congress reaffirmed its longstanding, bipartisan support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program in the year-end 2020 budget deal by increasing its funding from $73 million to $85 million.
The $12 million increase comes as a direct rebuke of 90 percent cut President Trump proposed in his budget and reflects the fundamental role the Bay Program plays in restoration efforts. The program is the glue that holds together the federal-state partnership to clean up the Bay by coordinating cross-state collaboration, directing funds to state restoration programs, and providing scientific research, modeling, and monitoring across the watershed.
Congress also approved additional funding to implement conservation practices on farms through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, support oyster restoration projects through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, improve public access to the Bay through the National Park Service, and conduct Bay research and educational outreach through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
We thank Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senators Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen, and Shelley Moore Capito, Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger and Matt Cartwright, and members of the House Chesapeake Bay Task Force, led by Representatives Bobby Scott, John Sarbanes, Rob Wittman, and Andy Harris, for their leadership ensuring these critical programs receive additional federal dollars this year.