(WASHINGTON, DC)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) today praised Rep. Elaine Luria for her leadership in successfully passing legislation to renew and boost funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program through the House of Representatives. The House adopted the bill, co-sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Task Force Co-Chairmen Bobby Scott, Rob Wittman, and John Sarbanes, with broad bipartisan support.
The bill would fund the Program at $90 million in 2020 and give it a $500,000 annual increase over five years, providing increased funding for the vital Bay Program partnership as we approach the 2025 deadline for the Bay states and the District of Columbia to implement their cleanup plans.
The EPA-led program is the linchpin that holds together the federal-state partnership to restore the Bay. It coordinates scientific research and monitoring, oversees each jurisdiction’s restoration efforts, and distributes grants for local cleanup projects. The Program was allocated $85 million in the fiscal year 2020 budget deal, up from $73 million in fiscal 2019.
Last month, the Senate passed a sweeping conservation package that includes companion legislation introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin and co-sponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen, Shelley Moore Capito, Tom Carper, and Mark Warner.
Following the House vote, CBF Federal Executive Director Jason Rano said:
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is grateful to Representative Elaine Luria for her leadership and commitment to advancing crucial legislation to restore this national treasure and vital regional economic engine.
“We congratulate her and Chesapeake Bay Task Force Co-Chairmen Bobby Scott, Rob Wittman, and John Sarbanes not only on moving this important bill through the House, but for the broad, bipartisan endorsement it won. The vote demonstrates once again that Congress’s concern for and commitment to the Bay’s future transcends party politics.
“The Bay states and the District of Columbia have just five years left and much heavy lifting to do to meet their cleanup commitments. They must redouble their efforts, especially in Pennsylvania, or our last, best chance to save this national treasure could slip away. This bill would ensure the Chesapeake Bay Program has the vital funding to help the states and the District succeed at this pivotal time.”