(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President William C. Baker commended the region’s leaders for the Billion for the Bay Initiative proposed in a letter to Congressional leaders today. The letter was signed by the Governors of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, along with the Mayor of the District of Columbia and Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and calls for a significant increase in federal funding to restore local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay, while supporting new jobs and implementing practices that reduce damage from climate change.
“The future of the Chesapeake Bay is now in jeopardy. Scientific recommendations to save it must be accelerated; if not, the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint will fail. The watershed states and their federal partners must increase investments to meet the 2025 goal. This is especially critical for Pennsylvania and New York, which supply 50% of the Bay’s fresh water, and the Bay’s pollution.
“To finish the job, EPA leadership must embrace the Clean Water Act’s mandates and hold the states accountable. Pennsylvania’s current plan only achieves 75 percent of its nitrogen pollution reduction goal and has a self-identified shortfall of more than $300 million annually. The vast majority of the pollution reduction needed must come from Pennsylvania. The majority of this new funding must be directed toward the Commonwealth.
“The Clean Water Blueprint is our last, best hope for clean water across the region. For our children and grandchildren, we must demand success.”