Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President and CEO Hilary Harp Falk today praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to devote most of its new Bay funds to projects that will help restore the Bay, its tributaries, and wildlife habitat across the watershed while benefitting communities where the projects are located.
EPA officials joined with Maryland members of the congressional Bay delegation to announce that the agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program will direct $40 million of the $47.6 million it got in the infrastructure law to competitive grants that leverage federal funds to support community-based restoration efforts.
Led by local conservation groups, churches, and other community partners, these projects are essential to meeting the water quality commitments outlined in the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by the 2025 deadline. Many also bolster communities’ resilience by mitigating the flooding, shoreline erosion, and heat intensified by climate change.
The infrastructure law, enacted last November, boosted funding for the Bay Program by $238 million over five years, or $47.6 million annually from 2022 through 2026. The Program coordinates the partnership of federal, state, and local governments, academic institutions, and non-profit groups dedicated to restoring the Bay and surrounding watershed.
CBF President and CEO Hilary Falk released the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is a cause for celebration.
“From restoring brook trout habitat in western Maryland to expanding Richmond’s urban tree canopy to planting trees on Pennsylvania streambanks, these federal investments will result in cleaner water, stronger local economies, healthier communities, and a more climate-resilient Bay.
“CBF thanks the dedicated champions in Congress for their steadfast commitment to the Bay. Additional federal and state investments like these are vital to saving the Bay and improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life of the nearly 19 million people who call this region home.”