Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds Governor Hogan’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

Annapolis, MD – Today, Governor Hogan released his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Budget which includes important provisions and record funding for land conservation and the Chesapeake Bay.

For the third consecutive year, the Governor’s budget fully funds Program Open Space and associated land preservation programs, with $177.7 million allocated in the FY21 budget.

Program Open Space is the state’s principal program for ‘Greening Maryland,’ supporting land conservation, state and local parks, agricultural land preservation, and Maryland’s Heritage Areas Program. Since 1969, Program Open Space has sought to achieve a simple but compelling goal: for every acre of land converted to development, conserve an acre of open space.

Governor Hogan’s FY21 budget fully funds the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund at a record level of $57.2 million. The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund is one of the primary tools for the state of Maryland to clean the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and tributaries by reducing non-point source pollution. The Trust Fund directs financial resources for non-point source pollution reduction projects in places with the greatest impact. The Trust Fund provides critical support to local communities to help meet local water quality goals for rivers and streams.

The Governor’s budget also provides $21.4 million to help Maryland farmers implement agricultural conservation practices on their land to improve local stream and soil health, and in turn, help to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Chesapeake Conservancy’s President and CEO Joel Dunn applauded Governor Hogan on his FY21 budget. “This budget demonstrates Governor Hogan’s strong and steadfast support for the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Fully funding the Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, a data-driven program helping local communities to achieve the highest impact in reducing non-point source pollution, is a critical investment for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Fully funding Program Open Space and other land preservation programs enhances and protects quality of life for all Maryland residents and visitors, and will help to ensure that the current and future generations have open space, clean air, and clean water.”

“These investments will help to restore our national treasure, the Chesapeake Bay, and to protect Maryland’s natural places, its rich history, its agricultural heritage, and most importantly, the health of its people and its wildlife.”