(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued the following statement on the importance of maintaining a federal partnership as the Bay continues to improve. The proposed federal budget would eliminate funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program and reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 30 percent.
Mr. Baker participated in a press conference with U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Maryland) and U.S. Senator Thomas Carper (D-Delaware).
Mr. Baker said:
"The Chesapeake Bay defines us! Its improvement is a source of great pride to all 18 million of us who live in the Bay watershed. But its recovery is fragile. The federal partner must not give up now!"As US Federal Judge Sylvia Rambo said, the Federal/State Chesapeake Partnership is one of the finest examples of cooperative federalism she has seen.
"Clean water is a right all Americans should enjoy. And nowhere is it more important than here on the Chesapeake. The effort to Save the Bay has consistently enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, because a healthy Chesapeake is good for the environment, critical for human health, and fundamental to economic prosperity.
"Ronald Reagan recognized the need for significant EPA support. The states simply cannot save the Bay alone. In his 1984 State of the Union message, President Reagan said, 'Though this is a time of budget constraints, I have requested for EPA one of the largest percentage budget increases of any agency. We will begin the long, necessary effort to clean up a productive recreational area and a special national resource—the Chesapeake Bay.'
"That was federal leadership of the finest sort!"