From implementing best management practices on Pennsylvania farms to planting oysters in Virginia Beach, the work to save the Bay reaches far-flung places throughout the watershed. While our restoration efforts often leave us wet and muddy, just as important to saving the Bay is meeting with our representatives in government and advocating for clean water.
Last week, over 20 outstanding volunteers from across the Commonwealth of Virginia ditched their waders and headed to Washington, D.C. to meet with their representatives and discuss all the great projects the Chesapeake Bay Program supports in their districts.
In the Washington office, we work hard year-round to advance federal legislation that preserves and restores the Bay and to defend programs at risk of being cut. We talk about big-picture stuff: appropriations, budget crosscuts, grants, and other facts and figures. But our volunteers can speak about individual projects and their benefits at the local level. By drawing connections between your home and federal policy, advocates can convince their legislators to help save the Bay.
Throughout the day, we met with Senator Tim Kaine and 10 of Virginia's 11 congressional offices, including in-person meetings with Reps. Scott Taylor, Donald McEachin, Rob Wittman, and Don Beyer. Our all-star advocates took turns telling the lawmakers and their staffers about the incredible Chesapeake Bay Watershed projects in their hometowns. We watched on proudly as our advocates spoke about putting federal funding to use in their local waterways by planting underwater grasses, building oyster reefs, controlling runoff, getting kids outside, and even starting a community garden.
In meetings throughout the day, we were reminded of the special influence our members have with their legislators as advocates for the Bay. Representatives are accountable to their constituents and every citizen has the power to be a champion for clean water in their community. One of the most powerful ways you can help save the Bay is by advocating to your representatives. Your activism and ability to mobilize your neighbors makes you formidable within your district. Make no mistake; your representatives want to hear what you have to say.
CBF draws its strength from our members. We are eager to help you elevate your voice so you can influence decision-makers and affect change for clean water.
If you are interested in taking action for the Bay, join our action network. And if you're interested in becoming a volunteer superstar, learn about our Clean Water Captain program and become a clean water ambassador in your community.
See below for photos of our day storming Capitol Hill.
2018 Virginia Lobby Day Photo Album
Jonathan Shears, CBF's Federal Office Special Project Assistant
Issues in this Post
Advocate Politics Water Quality CBF in Virginia Federal Affairs Office Hampton Roads Office Virginia Office, Richmond