U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-MD) have announced $600,000 in federal funding for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP). The funds, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be used by MCBP to preserve the economic and ecological vitality of Maryland’s coastal watershed. MCBP uses educational and outreach methods to improve local water quality and protect watershed habitats and wetlands. The program boasts a wide array of state, local and business partners, all of whom work with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program to develop and execute the Chesapeake Bay’s only Coastal Bays Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan that guides restoration and conservation activities in the watershed.
“Protecting the Bay isn’t just crucial to our environment – it’s crucial to the Maryland economy,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees. “This funding will help ensure that the Eastern Shore’s economy continues to grow and that Marylanders and tourists can enjoy the Bay for generations to come. I will keep working in the Senate to protect this program and maintain a clean and healthy Bay.”
“This grant is a federal investment in the Chesapeake Bay and the countless locally-owned businesses, watermen and farmers whose livelihoods depend on a healthy watershed,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and an economic engine for Maryland and the region, so a healthy Bay means a healthy economy. I’ll keep fighting to protect the EPA’s budget and ensure our Bay has every resource necessary to thrive and support the many families relying on its wellbeing.”
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America, with a length of 200 miles and 11,684 miles of tidal shoreline, more than the entire U.S. West Coast. About 100,000 streams and rivers thread through the Chesapeake’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to almost 17 million people across Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia.