Release of U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2023

Annapolis, MD – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations released its Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) spending bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. The bill would provide funding for several programs supporting environmental conservation and restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Senate’s proposed FY23 Interior appropriations bill would increase funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program to $91 million, an increase of $3 million over FY 22 levels. The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership of federal agencies, states, local governments, universities, and non-governmental organizations that work together to restore and to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

The bill would also provide full funding for the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network program at $3 million.

The bill would increase funding for the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Chesapeake Bay work by $2 million for a total of $17.39 million. The USGS is an important federal partner in the science and monitoring of fish, wildlife, and habitats as well as in providing forecasting and modeling on the impact of land use change on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The bill also provides $6 million for the Chesapeake WILD program, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program that supports on the ground efforts to enhance fish and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Conservancy Manager of External Affairs Reed Perry commended the Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY 23 bill, stating

“We commend the Senate Appropriations Committee for the strong provisions supporting conservation and watershed protection that are included in the FY 23 Interior and Environment bill, particularly those supporting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These critical investments will improve the health and resiliency of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed and in turn, bolster the health and economic resiliency of our region.

“We applaud Senate Appropriators for their work on this bill, particularly Senator Chris Van Hollen and Senator Shelley Moore Capito, for supporting the Chesapeake Bay watershed in FY 23. We urge Congress to support these vital Chesapeake Bay provisions in conference, and we encourage full funding for the Chesapeake Bay WILD program at the $15 million level put forward by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee earlier this summer.”