ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan, chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, along with other watershed state leaders sent a letter on Thursday to U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leaders calling on Congress to fully fund federal Chesapeake Bay restoration programs.
The Senate approved a measure today that increases funding for the Bay, but falls short of the $85 million in funding approved by the House. In this bipartisan letter—signed by Governor Hogan, Governor John Carney of Delaware, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC, and Guy Guzzone, acting chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission—leaders are urging Congress to approve $85 million in the final funding measure that goes to the president’s desk.
“We are at a critical juncture in Chesapeake Bay restoration with the goal of clean water in sight,” the letter states. “After three decades of collaboration with our federal and jurisdiction partners, we are witnessing measured improvements toward clean water, increased resiliency and the economic value of a healthier ecosystem. The increased and targeted federal support included in the House-passed bill is critical to sustaining this progress and meeting our restoration goals at the 2025 deadline.”
As part of his commitment to skilled environmental stewardship, Governor Hogan has invested a record $5 billion toward wide-ranging Chesapeake Bay initiatives, including fully funding Program Open Space and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. These efforts are making a difference: the Bay is the cleanest it has been in recorded history, with studies showing the greatest amount of surveyed underwater grasses and consistently improving water quality trends. Since March, when the federal administration proposed cuts to the Chesapeake Bay Program, Governor Hogan has helped to lead the charge to restore and increase this critical funding.
“The EPA Chesapeake Bay Program has bipartisan, bicameral support and strong non-federal partners and investment from across the Bay watershed,” the letter states. “For these reasons, we hope you will support funding the program at $85M in the conference report, with the House report language.”