Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds Governor Hogan’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

Annapolis, Md. – This week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan released his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget for the state of Maryland, which includes important provisions and record funding for land conservation and the Chesapeake Bay.

Governor Hogan’s proposed budget for FY22 would provide full funding for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund. 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.

Governor Hogan’s proposed FY22 budget also includes full funding for Program Open Space, a suite of programs funded through a real estate transfer tax that support land conservation, agricultural land preservation, state and local parks, historic preservation, and Maryland’s Heritage Areas Program. Since its establishment in 1969 by the General Assembly, Program Open Space has helped to protect nearly 400,000 acres of land in Maryland, and the program has provided more than 6,000 grants to local communities for parks and park development.

President and CEO of Chesapeake Conservancy Joel Dunn issued the following statement in support of the Governor’s announcement.

“I applaud Governor Hogan on his FY22 budget for the state of Maryland and I thank the Governor for his continued leadership in helping Marylanders to stay safe during this devastating pandemic.

“It is especially notable that the Governor’s budget continues to prioritize support for the Chesapeake Bay and for Program Open Space. The Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s parks and natural areas are not just exceptional natural resources. These natural assets are an important part of our state’s economy and economic resilience, and parks in particular have been a highly valued and demanded resource for Marylanders to recreate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Park visitation and outdoor recreation have been skyrocketing in Maryland in recent years, and it is no wonder because Maryland has many spectacular state and local parks. Program Open Space is a critical program that will help Maryland to meet this growing demand for open space and to support the outdoor recreation economy, which contributes billions of dollars each year to the state’s economy.

“Partners continue to make progress in the effort to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay, a national treasure. Governor Hogan’s proposed budget for FY22 rightly acknowledges the importance of continued investment in cleaning up and protecting the Chesapeake Bay, our state’s greatest natural resource and a national treasure.”

“I thank Governor Hogan for his strong conservation leadership as reflected in his FY22 budget for the state of Maryland, and I implore members of the General Assembly to maintain this funding for Program Open Space and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund which are absolutely critical for our environment, our health, and our economy.”