(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell issued the following statement commending bipartisan support by federal legislators from the Keystone State calling for federal funding to help farmers reduce water pollution in the Commonwealth.
A letter from Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., and signed by Pennsylvania members of the U.S. House of Representatives, urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to commit $20 million for planting riparian buffers in the Commonwealth’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The letter to Secretary Perdue noted that, “The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a critical piece in the Commonwealth’s strategy for reducing water pollution from agricultural sources. Through CREP, Pennsylvania farmers receive financial assistance from both USDA and the Commonwealth for implementing practices that reduce sediment, livestock, and other nutrient runoff into streams.”
Mr. Campbell said:
“CBF appreciates this bipartisan show of support by our elected federal officials from Pennsylvania and join them in urging Secretary Perdue and the USDA to make critical investments in the CREP.
“Taking steps to improve the health of Pennsylvania streams and at the same time increase productivity aren’t always affordable for farmers. Financial support through CREP has made a difference for some farmers who want to do the right thing and put more trees and streamside buffers onto our landscape.
“Trees and buffers are among the most cost-effective tools for keeping soil and nutrients on the land instead of in the water.
“Pennsylvania has a lot of work to do before it reaches its clean water goals. CREP and the buffers it provides play key roles in helping us get there.
“CBF looks forward to working with legislators at the state and federal levels to reduce pollution and make clean rivers and streams a lasting legacy for future generations."
In addition to Senator Casey, the letter to Secretary Perdue was signed by U.S. House of Representatives members Lou Barletta (R-11th), Brendan Boyle (D-13th), Robert Brady (D-1st), Matt Cartwright (D-17th), Ryan A. Costello (R-6th), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-8th), Tom Marino (R-10th), Patrick Meehan (R-7th), LloydSmucker (R-16th), and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-5th).