(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—On Wednesday, Congress released details about Interior Department funding legislation that calls for increasing the annual budget for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The bill proposes spending $85 million per year on the Bay Program, an increase of $12 million over the previous $73 million per year. President Donald Trump, in his federal budget proposal, had called for cutting the Bay Program's budget by 90 percent earlier this year.
In response to the newly released legislation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President of Environmental Protection and Restoration Lisa Feldt issued the following statement:
"While it's clear the Trump administration doesn't understand the value of restoring the Chesapeake Bay, Congress does. This increased investment in the Chesapeake Bay Program will accelerate efforts to improve our regional environment and is supported by a bipartisan coalition of legislators.
"Thanks to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the states and federal government are working together to restore the Bay using the latest science. The Bay Program funding provides needed federal oversight to ensure states are progressing toward the pollution reduction goals in the blueprint. It also funds critical grant programs to local governments and communities to support their pollution prevention projects.
"The gains already made have helped crab populations rebound, bay grasses reach record numbers, and made large-scale oyster restoration efforts feasible. However, the recovery is fragile, and the Bay is far from saved. As climate change and federal environmental deregulation threaten the Bay's progress, we must do more to ensure clean water for future generations.
"Thank you to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and Matt Cartwright, and to the Bay Task Force led by Congressmen Bobby Scott, John Sarbanes, and Robert Wittman for their work to promote this needed federal funding. We also thank Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey and Subcommittee Chair Betty McCollum. This investment can help Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement and improve the overall health of the Bay."
A list of other House members who provided crucial support is below. We thank all of them.
- Donald Beyer
- Anthony Brown
- Abigail Spanberger
- A. Donald McEachin
- Jamie Raskin
- Gerald Connolly
- Alex Mooney
- Jennifer Wexton
- Lisa Blunt Rochester
- Elijah Cummings
- Lloyd Smucker
- Elaine Luria
- David Trone
- Anthony Brindisi