Reps. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) today introduced companion legislation in the House and Senate to reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and authorize increasing its funding from $17 million in Fiscal Year 2022 to $22.6 million by Fiscal Year 2025.
The Chesapeake Bay Science, Education, and Ecosystem Enhancement (SEEE) Act also authorizes the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program, which funds opportunities for students to learn first-hand about the natural wonders of the Bay watershed.
NOAA’s Bay Office is a leading partner in the federal-state-local partnership to restore the health of the Bay and its waterways, fisheries, and wildlife habitats. The Office gathers scientific data critical to protecting oysters, blue crabs, striped Bass, and other species vital to the Bay ecosystem and the region’s economy. Its contributions to large-scale oyster restoration efforts are essential to achieving the goals of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
CBF Federal Executive Director Denise Stranko issued the following statement about the bill:
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) commends Reps. John Sarbanes, Rob Wittman, Bobby Scott, and Sen. Mark Warner for their commitment to bolstering funds for NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office. It is essential we strengthen the Office’s ability to advance oyster restoration and research, and inspire the next generation of Bay advocates.
“The Chesapeake Bay SEEE Act would provide our partners in the NOAA Bay Office with the resources critical to their mission of using science to save the Bay and its fisheries. CBF is proud to offer our support to this bipartisan, bicameral bill.”
Joining Sen. Warner as original cosponsors of the Senate bill are Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). In addition to Sarbanes, Scott, and Wittman, cosponsors in the House include Reps. Raskin (D-MD), McEachin (D-VA), Ruppersburger (D-MD), Connolly (D-VA), Luria (D-VA), Brown (D-MD), Wexton (D-VA), Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Cartwright (D-PA), Norton (D-DC), Mfume (D-MD), Spanberger (D-VA), Hoyer (D-MD), and Trone (D-MD).