(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued the following statement concerning the Congressional spending bill released last night.
The legislation fully funds EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program, NOAA's BWET program (funding environmental education), as well as speaking to the importance of continuing USGS efforts in support of Bay restoration. For the first time in 10 years, agricultural conservation funding saw no cuts. The bill, which does not include the Goodlatte provision preventing EPA from enforcing the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint pollution limits, still needs to pass both the House and the Senate.
"This is a great day for the Chesapeake Bay. Once again, the Chesapeake attracts strong bi-partisan support—a demonstration that clean water is important to all of us! Now it is up to Congress to pass the final budget and the President to sign it.
"The Bay is making progress and our legislators know how important it is to keep doing what works, especially when it is grounded in science.
"The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is a federal/state partnership. It is helping to save the Bay! We see measurable progress in reducing pollution, bringing back crabs, oysters, and fish, and stimulating the economy! The funding provided in this bill will build on that success.
"Make no mistake though, the recovery is still fragile—the Bay is far from fully saved! Now is the time to do more, not less. We can ensure clean water for our children and grandchildren."