May 02, 2017

Cardin, Van Hollen Announce Funding for the Chesapeake Bay

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen, member of the Senate Appropriations and Agriculture Committees, and Ben Cardin, senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, have announced $73 million in funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program in the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Funding bill. The House and Senate are both scheduled to vote on the legislation this week.

"President Trump's efforts to eliminate funding to clean up the Chesapeake Bay was simply shameful. That is why we fought for a major investment in the Bay as part of this appropriations bill," said Senator Van Hollen. "A clean and thriving Bay is central to Maryland's success -- from the environmental health and safety of our kids and future generations, to the tourism and boating industry, to the watermen. We will continue to stand together and fight for the Bay."

"The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and an economic engine for Maryland and the region, but that didn't stop the President from wanting to cut the program. I am pleased that more thoughtful heads prevailed," said Senator Cardin. "The Bay program is delivering encouraging results throughout the watershed area and abruptly pulling the federal government out of this effective regional partnership would have been devastating to the water quality, wildlife, and our regional economy that depends so much on a healthy Chesapeake Bay."

The legislation includes an array of programs that all go toward the health of the Bay, for example:

  • $73 million for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, including $6 million for nutrient and sediment removal grants and $6 million for small watershed grants
  • $2.02 million for the Chesapeake Gateways and Trails Program
  • $1.46 million for the Army Corps' Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan
  • $2.8 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund Rivers of the Chesapeake Proposal to protect additional land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for conservation and recreation (in Maryland, it's $1.6 million for the Nanjemoy Natural Resource Management Area and $1.2 million for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge)
  • $500,000 for the U.S. Geological Survey to provide more accurate and targeted data to inform the clean-up process and ensure that resources are used effectively