ANNAPOLIS – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) this week provided Maryland environmental policymakers and organizations an update on recent legislative advances he has championed to improve infrastructure and better protect America’s waters, while sharing ideas on a host of additional concerns brought forward by participants.
“The Chesapeake Bay restoration effort starts with and is carried forward by science, so we must support science at every opportunity,” said Senator Cardin to representatives from local governments, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and organizations like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Choose Clean Water Coalition, Barrels by the Bay and the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “We face far too many science deniers who make it politically difficult or impossible to take the steps we need to take to effectively protect the environment. The only way to ensure that science supports the direction of our public policy is to move our policies continually in directions that support science.”
Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also discussed a broad range of issues that included recent attacks on the EPA Clean Water Rule, which clarifies existing protections for wetlands and small streams, Farm Bill conservation funding, environmental education, tax incentives for conservation easements, federal flood insurance and climate change.
Senator Cardin also lauded a recently announced proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District to streamline the permitting process for oyster aquaculture in Maryland waters.
“Oyster farming promotes the health of the Chesapeake Bay, expands the number of good jobs available in rural areas and builds on Maryland’s tradition of providing world-class seafood. But the growth of oyster aquaculture in Maryland has been stymied by excessive red tape, which the Army Corps had indicated it would try to find ways to minimize,” said Senator Cardin. “I am heartened to see that the Army Corps is making good on that promise and look forward to continually working with its highly engaged leadership to notch even more progress toward our shared goal of restoring the Chesapeake Bay.”