February 24, 2010

CARDIN HIGHLIGHTS THREATS TO THE HEALTH OF GREAT WATER BODIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

From the Chesapeake to Puget Sound, these water bodies are critical to sustaining our regional economies and jobs

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the EPW Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today led a joint hearing to examine legislative approaches to protecting, preserving, and restoring great water bodies that are threatened by degraded water quality.

 

"The great water bodies of this nation deserve our attention.   Marylanders know from our experience with the Chesapeake Bay that the health of these water bodies is critical to sustaining regional economies and jobs, plant and animal species, our cultural heritage and treasured ways of life that have been passed on from generation to generation," said Senator Cardin, in his opening remarks.

 

"Large ecosystem programs, from Chesapeake Bay to the Puget Sound, are addressing some of the Nation's most complex water resource management challenges.   For this reason, EPA's latest Strategic Plan prioritizes protecting these ecosystems as a complement to their core, national water quality programs.    

 

"The Water and Wildlife subcommittee has devoted considerable time to the Chesapeake Bay, and more recently, to the Gulf of Mexico.   Today, we turn our attention to five more of our most valued waters: Lake Tahoe, the Puget Sound, the Long Island Sound, the Columbia River Basin and the Great Lakes.

 

"Each of these vast water bodies is special and iconic, yet each is threatened by degraded water quality. Some threats are shared like nutrient and sediment pollution, others are unique like the dangers of wildfire in the forests that surround Lake Tahoe.   Efforts to restore these important resources have struggled to keep pace with growing threats. It's for these reasons, we must move forward legislative solutions that will complement the work of the EPA and bring together federal, state and local resources in a coordinated way that rewards best practices and successful outcomes."

 

Senator Cardin is the author and lead sponsor of the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, which has been the focus of multiple hearings in the EPW Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. Today's hearing discussed S. 2724 the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act and S. 2739 the Puget Sound Recovery Act, as well as the restoration of the Long Island Sound, the Columbia River Basin and the Great Lakes.