Whether on cable news, your social media feed, or at the family dinner table, political bickering feels inescapable. But across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, individuals of all political persuasions can all agree on one topic: clean water. Which is why we are so frustrated and confounded that the Trump administration proposed cutting Chesapeake Bay Program* funding by 90 percent from $73 million to $7.3 million.
This proposed cut would devastate efforts to restore local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. As CBF President Will Baker stated following the budget release Monday, "This is a slap in the face to a national treasure finally beginning to recover from decades of pollution."
The evidence is clear that the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is working. Dead zones are getting smaller, Bay grasses are increasing, and local economies are improving. But without the Chesapeake Bay Program the Blueprint will falter. To finish the job of saving the Bay, we must accelerate our efforts—not slow them down.
Fortunately, efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay have long reflected the strong bipartisan support for clean water. We will continue to work with the region's members of Congress to fight back against a cut to one of the most important programs for clean water restoration. Instead, we advocate for an increase in investments for the Chesapeake Bay Program so watershed states can continue restoring the Bay in the face of new and increased challenges like climate change.
Join us in this critical fight by urging Congress to resist this assault on clean water. Tell them to not just restore funding, but increase the investments that are needed to finish the job of saving the Bay.
*To be clear: We are not referring to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's budget, but the federal budget for EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program, which plays a critical role in coordinating and sustaining the federal/state partnership to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams.
A quick postscript: This Week in the Watershed is taking a brief hiatus while I care for my future Bay saver on paternity leave.
This Week in the Watershed: Striking for Climate, A Drastic Cut, and the Bay's New Air Force
- CBF Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Lester writes on the dangers of offshore drilling and the strong support against it. (Washington Post)
- Research continues on how increased flooding from sea level rise will impact how pollution enters our waterways. (Yale 360)
- Kudos to CBF Student Leader Amelia Farrell for organizing a Youth Climate Strike in Annapolis to urge Maryland's General Assembly to pass bills that protect the environment and slow the impacts of climate change. (Capital Gazette—MD)
- A new tool is changing the way environmentalists study, monitor, and protect our waterways. (Bay Journal)
- Once again, the Trump administration's proposed federal budget slashes funding for environmental protection and restoration, including a 90 percent cut to the Chesapeake Bay Program. (AP) BONUS: CBF Statement
- A plan to change how the oyster fishery is managed in Maryland waters is the subject of debate. (Capital Gazette—MD) BONUS: Take action and raise your voice for Maryland's oysters!
- CBF Virginia Staff Scientist Joe Wood writes on the success of efforts to clean up Virginia's waterways, while highlighting how far we have to go. (Richmond Times Dispatch—VA) BONUS: Take action to thank Virginia's legislators for investing in clean water!
What's Happening around the Watershed?
- Richmond, VA: Join us to indulge in this beloved bivalve and learn more about this growing industry from a local oyster farmer. Learn more and register here!
- Annapolis, MD: Join us at CBF headquarters for an ice cream social and learn about the Buy Fresh Buy Local Chesapeake program and Clagett Farm's Community Supported Agriculture program. Learn more and register here!
- Baltimore, MD: A new documentary Saving Sea Turtles highlights the history of the Kemp's Ridley sea turtles and how humans have impacted the species' population. Immediately following the viewing, an expert panel will discuss the film and how participants can advocate for change in their communities. Register here for our Docs on the Docks film series!
- Easton, MD: Gather with anglers and fishing aficionados from around the Shore to watch fishing flicks, hear from experts and guides, and mingle with friends while enjoying food and drink specials. Learn more and register for an Angler's Night Out!
Issues in this Post
Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint Advocate Climate Change Conservation Events Federal Appropriations Federal Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program CBF in Maryland CBF in Virginia Eastern Shore Office Federal Affairs Office Hampton Roads Office Maryland Office, Annapolis Pennsylvania Office Virginia Office, Richmond