(WASHINGTON, DC)—Legislation introduced today would reauthorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Chesapeake Bay Office and proposes increasing its annual funding from $12 million in 2021 to $24.6 million in 2024.
Titled the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education, and Ecosystem Enhancement (SEEE) Act, the bill would strengthen the Office’s ability to use science to help restore the Bay and support the watershed’s oyster, blue crab, striped bass, and other ecologically and economically valuable fisheries.
From promoting large-scale oyster restoration and research to awarding grants that give teachers and students across the watershed a firsthand introduction to the Bay ecosystem, NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office plays an integral role in saving the Bay and the local streams, rivers, and waterways that feed into it.
The bill was introduced by Representative John Sarbanes, Bobby Scott, Rob Wittman, Gerry Connolly, Anthony Brown, Dutch Ruppersberger, Jennifer Wexton, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, David Trone, Don Beyer, Elaine Luria, Donald McEachin, Jamie Raskin, and Elaine Spanberger.
Jason Rano, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Federal Executive Director, made this statement about the legislation:
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation thanks Rep. Sarbanes, Rep. Scott, and Rep. Wittman for taking the lead in ensuring our partners in NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office get the annual funding increases they need to carry out their mission. Rebuilding the Bay’s oyster population and educating future advocates are vital to restoring and ensuring the health of this national treasure.”