ANNAPOLIS, Md. – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, led a U.S. Senate hearing in Annapolis today to review the details of the newly signed Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
“The Chesapeake Bay is and will always be an intangible cultural symbol for Maryland and the region as a whole. I want to stress the importance of broad involvement of all stakeholders in the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Pollution does not stop at a state borderline. The populations living and working in the Bay watershed are all in this together. No one source or single sector bears all the blame for degraded water quality in the Bay. But if we all work together and do our part, we will see progress and leave our children a Chesapeake Bay that is healthier than it is today.
“I want to especially acknowledge the partnership’s commitments to transparency and consensus building. The goals of the agreement deal with sensitive issues like natural land preservation, blue crab management, nutrient pollution reduction and others. Stakeholders must be involved in achieving these goals need to feel the process and weight of the actions being prescribed is fair and open.
“I also want to express my appreciation for the final agreement’s inclusion of goals and outcomes relating to toxic contaminants and climate change. Reducing the presence or improving the secure storage of toxic chemicals that are in use around the watershed is a growing problem. And adapting to the effects of climate change needs to be a priority for our region. Rising sea levels pose threats to the hundreds of Chesapeake Bay communities and millions of people that live on the shores of the Bay. We also must adapt our water infrastructure to handle the effects of more intense weather events in the Bay region to reduce the water quality impacts of these events and to protect individuals’ property.”
The full text of Senator Cardin’s prepared remarks are available here.