Q. What is CBF trying to accomplish with its federal affairs work?
A. CBF is working to ensure federal support for the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, a historic voluntary agreement signed by every state in the watershed, renewing their commitment to an environmentally and economically sustainable Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Q. How is CBF doing it?
A. Through our federal office, we educate members of Congress on the federal commitments in the Bay Agreement, progress being made, and any adaptations in federal statutes needed to ensure future success. We also help CBF members advocate in Congress. For example, through our state offices, we help members become activists for the Bay through our Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards (VoiCeS) training program, which teaches volunteers about the issues and needs of the Bay. VoiCeS participants often go from learning about the Bay to loving the Bay, to becoming champions for its protection. They learn to meet with their elected officials at the local, state and federal levels, and have been instrumental in keeping the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint on track to restore the Bay’s water quality by 2025. (Find information about VoiCeS programs in your region.)
Q. Is CBF lobbying at the federal level?
A. Sometimes. We are careful to stay within the rules for legal and ethical activities for our kind of nonprofit organization. More often, what we do is not considered to be lobbying. Rather, we are providing education and assistance to Congress and other federal policymakers.
Q. Is working with Congress new for CBF?
A. CBF has been working closely with Members of Congress since the organization was created in 1967 and has had federal affairs staff and on office in D.C. since 2001.
Q. What are CBF's priorities in Congress?
A. Our goal is to ensure federal support for the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. To do this, we protect the Clean Water Blueprint and ensure states and localities have the federal partners and resources they need to implement it. Federal agencies provide critical policy, science, conservation and infrastructure programs and funding to Bay states as they work to clean up the Bay and the rivers and streams that feed it. They also ensure the work gets done through regulation and enforcement.
Q. Are CBF's federal advocacy efforts partisan?
A. Absolutely not. The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure. Members of Congress from both political parties are committed to restoring the Bay. We reach out to everyone regardless of political party to find common ground.