May 12, 2009

CARDIN HAILS FEDERAL AND STATE COMMITMENTS TO THE HEALTH OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program, called today a great day for the restoration and future health of the Chesapeake Bay. Senator Cardin's comments came following the signing of an executive order by President Barack Obama on Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection; an oversight hearing in the Environment and Public Works Committee with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson; and concurrence today by the governors of Maryland and Virginia, along with the mayor of the District of Columbia and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, on a renewed regional effort to accelerate Bay restoration efforts and accountability.

 

"The Chesapeake Bay is in trouble, but the highest level of federal, state and local partners are standing up around our region to help renew this precious resource," said Senator Cardin. "Today's important actions by President Obama, Administrator Jackson and key state leaders, underscore the fact that pollution and water contamination are not confined by state or local borders. Only through an aggressive, coordinated effort, we will succeed in curbing pollution and restoring the water quality of our nation's largest estuary.  

 

"The Obama Administration's dedication to the health of the Chesapeake Bay was punctuated today with the signing of an executive order recognizing the Bay as a 'National Treasure' and renewing the Federal Government's obligation to lead the effort to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. I look forward to working with the new EPA-led Chesapeake Bay Federal Leadership Committee created by President Obama today that will oversee the development and coordination of programs and activities across Federal agencies.

 

 "As Chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, I am especially pleased that the President has provided a record $35.1 million in his FY2010 Budget for the Chesapeake Bay Program, a regional partnership that has led the Bay restoration effort since 1983.  I appreciate Administrator Jackson's expressed commitment to restoration of the Bay Watershed and her understanding of the important role the Chesapeake plays in the health of our regional economy.

 

"I also applaud the work of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty for pledging today to make their jurisdictions more accountable to deadlines that will expedite clean-up and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.   Only by working in tandem, with a common set of achievable goals, will we restore the quality of the Bay."  

 

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. The Chesapeake Bay supports more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals.