Since 1983, the federal government has been a partner, with the watershed states and the District of Columbia, of the voluntary Chesapeake Bay Agreement and has supported the Agreement through the Chesapeake Bay Program, created at that time. Since then, the partners entered into new agreements in 1987, 2000, and most recently 2014 with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. This latest agreement incorporated the landmark Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint which set limits on the amount of nutrients and sediment that can enger the Bay along with specific steps each jurisdiction will take to meet these pollution reduction goals by 2025. The Bay Program is the heart of this federal-state partnership. It coordinates scientific research on the health of the Bay and provides grants to state and local governments to help reduce pollution. Over 60 percent of program funds go to states, primarily through matching grants that drive local investment in state restoration priorities. It's successful, bipartisan, non-controversial—and it's a critical part of the Bay restoration efforts that are helping crab and oyster populations rebound, shrinking the Bay's dead zone, and allowing Bay grasses to thrive. Its research and funding are critical to the success of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
As shown in the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Restoration Spending Crosscut, the federal government’s share of restoration costs has decreased relative to state contributions. Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program is essential to fulfilling the federal government’s commitment to the Agreement.
Cuts to this vital work could undermine the trust, collaboration, and partnership between the states and the federal government established in the historic Chesapeake Bay Agreement, and threaten clean water for the more than 18 million people who call the Chesapeake Bay watershed home. That's why it's so important that we tell Congress loud and clear that it must continue leadership on the Chesapeake Bay.
Level funding in FY19 for key federal programs is needed to maintain the trust and collaboration of state partners and ensure the continued success of this unique partnership.
With that in mind, here are a few resources to help you understand the issues at hand and to help you speak out on behalf of clean water everywhere.
- Press Statement: CBF Issues Statement on Elimination of Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program
- Blog: President Trump's Budget Does Not Support Clean Water
- Five Reasons Why the Chesapeake Bay Program Is Critical to Saving the Bay
- What Chesapeake Bay Program Cuts Mean for Pennsylvania
- What Chesapeake Bay Program Cuts Mean for Virginia
- Economic Analyses
- CBF finds that putting the "pollution diet" in place would provide annual benefits worth $129.7 billion
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study outlines the economic benefits of watershed restoration
- From Congress
- Actions you can take now
- The proposed federal budget threatens to eliminate ALL funding to EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program. Urge Congress to Protect the Bay
- Five Important Advocacy Actions You Can Do Right Now
- Examples of citizens of all walks of life taking action and speaking out for the Bay and its rivers and streams in Letters to the Editor, op-eds, blogs, and so on
- Virginia Advocates Storm Capitol Hill
- President Trump's Budget Does Not Support Clean Water
- Editorial: Trump Budge Continues Assault on Environment
- Letter: Protect Virginia's Brook Trout
- Rep. Taylor on Our Side
- Three Examples Show How Ripples Can Become Waves to Save the Bay
- Editorial: The Chesapeake Begins to Come Back
- We Must Invest in the Future
- Protecting the Bay
- News coverage from around the region
- NPR: Chesapeake Bay Dead Zones Are Fading, but Proposed EPA Cuts Threaten Success
- WTKR: Trump Administration Proposes Cutting Chesapeake Bay Program Funding by 90%
- Bay Journal: Trump Proposes Slashing EPA Bay Budget Funding 90 Percent
- WTOP: Trump Budget Again Targets Regional Water Cleanup Programs
- Baltimore Sun: Trump Budget Would Have Major Impact in Maryland
- The Washington Post: Trump Budget Seeks 23 Percent Cut at EPA, Eliminating Dozens of Programs
- The Virginian-Pilot: The Chesapeake Bay's Underwater Grasses Had Healthy Increase Last Year
- Daily Times: Blue Crabs, Bay Grasses Rallying as Chesapeake's Health Improves: Report
- Bay Journal: Bay Barometer Finds Things Keep Looking Up
- American Agriculturist: Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Receives Good Midpoint Marks
- Bay Journal: Trump's Budget Cuts Wide and Deep Swath through Bay-Related Programs
- Huffington Post: Chesapeake Bay's Booming Oysters Industry is Alarmed by Trump's EPA Budget Cuts
All of us who love the Bay and its rivers and streams, must continue to do our part in restoring it. Our economy, our environment, and our health depend on it.