April 17, 2017

Senators Cardin, Carper Highlight Devastating Effects of Trump Budget Cuts to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Leaders on Senate Environment Committee underscore environmental and economic importance of cleanup funding

Stevensville, Md. – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) the two most senior Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, stood on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay to highlight the devastating effects that President Trump’s shortsighted and dangerous budget cuts would have on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Joined by prominent conservation leaders and elected officials, Senators Carper and Cardin called on congressional appropriators to reject the president’s proposals that would eliminate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program entirely and severely cut funding for other core programs to maintain and restore the health of the Bay, which is an economic engine for the region.

“The Chesapeake Bay Program and related efforts are delivering encouraging results throughout the watershed and have built tremendous momentum moving forward, yet President Trump still targeted them for elimination. Pulling the federal government out of this effective regional partnership makes absolutely no sense to anyone who cares about a healthy economy or a healthy environment,” said Senator Cardin. “Senator Carper and I understand that we are moving forward on the Chesapeake Bay restoration precisely because all of the Bay states are working together. President Trump’s plan to erase the blueprint for cooperation shows a fundamental failure to understand how restoration of this magnitude best gets done and how the federal government is an essential lynchpin in that effort.”

“President Trump’s proposal to completely eliminate the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program is completely absurd,” said Senator Carper. “Thousands of Delawareans and millions across our region depend on a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay. Slashing the funding that allows the EPA to maintain this environmental and economic resource is irresponsible, and it’s bad for business. A thriving Bay means a thriving local economy, and any actions to undo the progress we’ve made to the restore the Bay are shortsighted and put millions at risk. You can be sure that Senator Cardin and I will keep fighting to protect the Chesapeake Bay so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy it the same way we have for generations.”

The Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest estuary, and more than 11 million people obtain their drinking water directly from the rivers and streams throughout the region that eventually flow into the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program, which President Trump has proposed eliminating entirely, coordinates watershed restoration and conservation efforts throughout the region. The majority of funds from the programs go directly to states and local communities for on-the-ground restoration projects.

The Senators were joined by William C. Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sheree Sample-Hughes, who serves as a Maryland State Delegate, and Jake Day, Mayor of Salisbury, Maryland.

Last month, Senators Cardin and Carper, along with Senators Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined together as a regional delegation to immediately urge appropriators to reject the dangerous cuts proposed by President Trump. The full text of the letter can be found here.