Statement:Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for Open Space and Land Conservation Funding at the State Level and Advocating for Federal Funding for the Chesapeake Bay
Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Highlights Include Provisions that Provide Full Funding for Program Open Space; Key Environmental Programs
Governor Also Continues Push for Federal Funding for the Chesapeake
Annapolis, MD – Chesapeake Conservancy President & CEO Joel Dunn issued this statement following Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s release of his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Highlights, which fully funds important environmental programs including Program Open Space (POS), the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund, and adds funding to address a backlog of deferred maintenance projects with the Maryland Park Service.
“Chesapeake Conservancy is very grateful that Governor Hogan has yet again shown his commitment to Program Open Space. His Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Highlights released today fully funds this important program as well as the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund, and adds funding to address a backlog of deferred maintenance projects with the Maryland Park Service.
“Program Open Space is Maryland’s leading conservation tool and how the state goes about creating new parks and playgrounds for children, and more access to nature for everyone, while conserving land and providing wildlife habitat.
“This budget news follows a letter from Governor Hogan sent this month to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee to keep $73 million in federal funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.
“We find that Governor Hogan, Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, continues to demonstrate strong environmental conservation leadership at the state and federal level.
“A 2017 recipient of the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Champions of the Chesapeake Award, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was honored for his commitment and leadership in fighting to protect federal bay funding; fully funding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund; and now ultimately providing full funding of Program Open Space next fiscal year.
“While the original Program Open Space Act of 1969 dedicated these funds to land preservation, for many years administrations and legislators have diverted them for other purposes. POS funds land conservation, agricultural land preservation, Maryland Heritage Area funding, historic resource protection and park development across the state, for both state agencies as well as county governments and the City of Baltimore. Projects funded protect water quality and wildlife habitat, create new recreation opportunities, and protect farmland and historic sites.
“We thank Governor Hogan for his commitment to open space, parks and recreation, and protecting the Chesapeake Bay – a national treasure.”