WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen announced over $5 million in federal funding for efforts to research and restore the Chesapeake Bay. This funding, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chesapeake Bay Program, includes $5 million for the Chesapeake Bay Trust; $199,572 for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay; and $74,980 for the Chesapeake Research Consortium. It will allow these partners to continue crucial work to reduce pollution, improve research, and clean up the Bay.
“Federal and regional partnerships have been crucial to the progress we have made in improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “A health Bay means a healthy economy and this latest federal funding will continue our environmental advancement while supporting the local businesses, communities, and economies throughout the region who rely on healthy waterways. We fought to protect the EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Program from harmful budget cuts and we know this regional program will continue to pay positive dividends.”
“A healthy Chesapeake Bay is crucial to Maryland’s environment and our economy, and cleaning and protecting the Bay requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. This funding will allow our Bay partners to continue those crucial efforts, and more help is on the way as part of the Farm Bill that passed the Senate last week. I will continue fighting for the resources we need to protect and restore the Bay,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Environment and Public Works and Appropriations Committees.
Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have fought and succeeded in protecting Chesapeake Bay restoration funds, despite the attempts of the Administration to slash this funding in its budget proposals. In this year’s Senate-passed Farm Bill, Senator Van Hollen was also able to double mandatory funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which provides Chesapeake Bay farmers and stakeholders resources to reduce runoff into the Bay.
Since 1983, the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program has led and directed the restoration of the Bay, in partnership with federal and state agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Staff members work in the Chesapeake Bay Program Office in Annapolis, Maryland and at partner organizations throughout the watershed.