STATEMENT:U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen’s Leadership Could Help Secure $300 Million in Federal Funding for the Chesapeake
Annapolis, MD – Following the release of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report which contained major provisions of U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen’s (D-Md.) Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act, including total funding devoted to the Rural Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) increasing to $300 million, which is likely to mean more funding out of the RCPP for Bay conservation projects, Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn issued the following statement:
“The Chesapeake Bay is a delicate ecosystem that requires careful stewardship and conservation. Our agricultural land comprises almost 30% of the watershed and contributes to our economy, absorbs carbon, and sustains our wildlife, scenic views and resources for hunting and fishing. These vital working lands are also the key to improving water quality in the Chesapeake watershed.
“We applaud Senator Van Hollen’s leadership in securing $300 million in federal funding for the Chesapeake in the 2018 Farm Bill. If passed into law, this funding will be a significant investment for Bay restoration and conservation and will help farmers reduce nutrients and sediments before they enter the Bay’s tributaries.
“The first 50 years of the Chesapeake Bay movement appropriately focused primarily on ‘point sources’ of pollution, such as sewage treatment plants, which produced great results. The next 50 years will undoubtedly focus in part on ‘non-point source’ pollution, such as runoff from farms and urban landscapes. These funds will make a big difference in this effort.”