Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, chaired a hearing today examining U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiatives that promote collaborative approaches to wildlife and habitat management.
“If we are going to succeed in our efforts to save our most treasured and valuable natural resource, all of us – private and public, individuals and organizations, businessmen and conservationists, farmers and fishermen – will have to continue to work together to make it happen.
“Across the country today, Americans are active in helping to protect precious habitats and species through programs like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coastal Program and Partners for Fish and Wildlife. These efforts leverage critical federal resources and expertise to help those that rely on and cherish these resources do what it will take to save them. As a result, in Maryland and elsewhere, local communities and schools, industries and NGOs are helping to identify problems facing regional ecosystems and to develop and implement positive and practical solutions. Collaborative programs like these are important tools in our effort to restore and protect this nation's natural heritage.
“The hearing today made clear that there is no greater example of the impact collaborative efforts can have on our prized natural resources than the Coastal Program in Maryland. Nationwide, experts estimate that healthy coastal and estuary resources protect more than $800 billion in recreational and trade opportunities each year, provide nursery habitat for two-thirds of commercial shell and finfish populations, stabilize shorelines against erosion, and provide flood control. Begun in the Chesapeake Bay in 1985, the Coastal Program has leveraged three times the federal investment and worked with a wide array of partners to protect and restore thousands of acres of the coastal wetlands, shoreline, and fish and wildlife habitat on which Maryland’s economy and culture depend. I intend to work with my colleagues to protect and strengthen this important program.”