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March 21, 2017
Media Contact: Marissa Spratley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Responds to Threat to Eliminate EPA Funding
(Annapolis, MD – March 17, 2017) Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Executive Director Albert H. Todd issued the following statement today in response to the FY18 Budget Blueprint released yesterday by the White House which proposes elimination of funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Eliminating all EPA funding for the Chesapeake Bay and other regional restoration initiatives stops progress at the very time that broad signs of recovery are being realized. It is irresponsible and simply reflects a lack of foresight and wise judgment.
This budget proposal puts over 30 years of Chesapeake Bay recovery work and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal investments at risk—investments that have advanced clean water and restored and protected hundreds of thousands of miles of rivers and streams in all six Bay states and the District of Columbia.
The economic worth of the Chesapeake Bay watershed is valued at over $1 trillion dollars. If enacted, these devastating budget cuts would impact 18 million residents, and their access to clean water. Additionally, it will mean a loss of jobs, recreation, business, tourism and the health of local communities.
The Chesapeake Bay Program is undeniably the most successful watershed restoration effort of its kind in the world. It is the truest example of a partnership. As the new EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has stated, this is an example of exactly how the EPA should work.
Two thirds of this year’s Chesapeake Bay Program’s $73 million budget went to state and local governments and conservation groups in the form of grants to aid Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts. Remaining funding supports monitoring to measure the efficacy of cleanup efforts, technical assistance to guide the work, and activities that ensure public engagement in restoration. Here at the Alliance, we use these critical funds to bring communities together to find solutions, help local governments restore streams, plant trees, reduce polluted runoff, and assist schools, houses of worship, and businesses to take environmental actions that contribute to Chesapeake restoration.
This elimination of the federal role in the Chesapeake Bay’s restoration represents a radical shift from the position taken by every president since Ronald Reagan, who in 1984 declared the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed a “treasured national resource.” Reagan called for a sizable boost in the EPA’s budget then, in part to begin “the long, necessary effort” to clean up the Bay. That effort is finally starting to show results.
We encourage all Americans to reach out to their members of Congress and to stand up for a responsible EPA budget that will continue to protect the nation’s largest and greatest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay, and ensure its health of all those who cherish it or call this watershed home.
About The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay:
Founded in 1971, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with headquarters in Annapolis, MD and offices in Richmond, Virginia, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, works throughout the Bay watershed to lead, support and inspire local action and build partnerships with individuals, communities, governments, businesses and other groups to restore the Bay watershed and its forests, rivers and streams. For more information about the Alliance, visit: allianceforthebay.org
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