Federal Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program


The U.S. Capitol Building

Photo Credit: CBF Staff

Standing up for the Blueprint

Increasingly frequent extreme weather requires a greater commitment to Bay restoration funding, but the Trump Administration has proposed a 90 percent cut for FY 2020.

UPDATE: On December 16, congressional leaders finalized a budget deal for fiscal year 2020 that includes an increase of $12 million for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. Congress is expected to pass the agreement and President Trump is expected to sign.

Just as the Bay and its rivers and streams started to rebound, last year's record rains flushed enormous amounts of pollution into local waterways. As a result, the Bay's health dropped for the first time in 10 years. To combat increasingly frequent extreme weather, we must increase Chesapeake Bay Program funding—not cut it.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration has proposed a 90 percent cut to Bay funding, from $73 million to $7.3 million, for FY 2020. This ignores the common sense funding requirements that are necessary to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. It would devastate efforts to estore local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.

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 we must accelerate our efforts—not slow them.

Increased funding in FY 2020 for critical programs is needed to maintain the trust and collaboration of state partners and ensure the continued success of this unique partnership.

Fortunately, there are a number of proposals in Congress to increase Bay Program funding. CBF will be advocating to ensure these bills are rooted in science and work to save the Bay.

About the Chesapeake Bay Program

Since 1983, the federal government has been an important partner, with the watershed states and the District of Columbia, of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement and has supported the Agreement through the Chesapeake Bay Program.

The Chesapeake Bay Program is the heart of this federal-state partnership. Originally created under President Ronald Reagan, this program coordinates scientific research on the health of the Bay and provides matching grants that drive local investment in reducing pollution and improving the water quality of local waterways. In fact, more than 60 percent of Bay Program funds go to state and local restoration efforts.

The Bay Program has proven to be successful, bipartisan, and non-controversial. It's a critical part of the Bay restoration efforts that help crabs and oysters, shrink the Bay's dead zone, and allow Bay grasses to thrive. And its research and funding are critical to the success of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. 

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.

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.

The Bay Needs You

The 2018 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

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Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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