U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin expressed deep disappointment and concern that President Bushs FY 2008 budget could have a serious effect on efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay.
The Bay is Marylands greatest natural resource and it is our duty as a nation to restore and protect it for future generations. The Presidents FY 2008 is deeply disappointing because is eliminates or dramatically reduces a number of important Bay programs, said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Last week the Senator testified before the Environment and Public Works Committee concerning the potential impact of global warming on Maryland. Sen. Cardin told the Committee that a significant portion of Maryland is in low-laying areas that would be inundated if global temperatures keep increasing, resulting in a rise of sea levels.
Presidents FY 2008 budget continues to short-change key Chesapeake Bay programs. Below is a list of proposed program cuts:
"Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides assistance to state and local governments to upgrade sewage treatment plants, is cut from $1.1 billion recommended in the Fiscal Year 2007 CR to $688 million. Under Presidents proposed budget, Maryland would receive $16.6 million a cut of nearly 50% from FY 2001. Total cut for the Bay area states of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia is $58.7 million from FY 2001 levels;
"Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET) is eliminated. ($3.5 million);
"Chesapeake Bay land preservation funds eliminated; ($4 million FY 2006).
"NOAA Bay Program office cut from $3.5 million to $1.9 million;
"Oyster restoration money cut from $6 million (NOAA) in FY 2006 to $850,000, and eliminated from Corps budget ($1,125,000);
"Funding for on-going Corps Bay studies and restoration projects is eliminated; and,
"Despite inflation, the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program would receive $20.8 million, about the same level as last year for EPAs base program.