WASHINGTON – June 29, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD) announced $4.66 million in federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay, provided by several U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants. The EPA is the lead federal partner in a multi-agency effort that supports regional implementation of programs that contribute to a healthier Chesapeake Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and an economic engine for Maryland and the region.
• $4.01 million to help the Maryland Department of Natural Resources administer a Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant program.
• $536,808 to help the Chesapeake Research Consortium Inc. support the outcomes and goals of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
• $61,017 to help the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, which provides data management and analysis services to the Chesapeake Bay Program and produces accessible water quality and biological monitoring data and information that support science-based decision-making.
• $54,100 to help the Chesapeake Stormwater Network Inc. provide technical information to local, state, and federal stormwater managers to accelerate the implementation of the most cost-effective nutrient and sediment load reduction practices at existing development, new development, and redevelopment sites.
“These grants represent a federal investment in the Chesapeake Bay and the countless locally-owned businesses, watermen and farmers whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Bay. It is precisely why I just led a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program: it funds projects like these, which are absolutely critical for the Bay’s health and our region’s economic growth. A healthy Bay means a healthy economy,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “I’ll keep fighting to ensure the Chesapeake Bay Program is fully funded in the 2018 budget.”
“Taken together, these four grants will help Maryland make progress to improve the health of the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Senator Van Hollen, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The Bay is a natural treasure that is also essential to Maryland’s economy – including the tourism, fishing, and boating industries. We’ll keep fighting to ensure the Bay is clean and thriving.”
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America, with a length of 200 miles and 11,684 miles of tidal shoreline, more than the entire U.S. West Coast. About 100,000 streams and rivers thread through the Chesapeake’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to almost 17 million people across Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia.