Choose Clean Water Coalition condemns Trump’s 2019 EPA cuts

| February 23, 2018
Rams Head

The Choose Clean Water Coalition is issuing a formal response to the president’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The budget recommends that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program budget be slashed from its current allocation of $73 million to just $7.3 million – an exact 90 percent cut to current funding. This funding would be given strictly for monitoring and would effectively shutdown all other aspects of the restoration effort.

Last year, the president recommended completely eliminating funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. This was met with resistance from not only the environmental community, but members of Congress, as this funding results in millions of dollars in support for projects that are improving communities and protecting local waterways around the watershed. Both the House and the Senate ignored the president’s recommendation and increased the funding to $60 million and $73 million in their respective appropriations bills.

“Since the president took office, the Coalition and our 235 members across the watershed have sprung into action, rallying their legislators to pass a budget that will continue to protect our water,” said Chanté Coleman, director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. “We look forward to working with our Chesapeake delegation in Congress to move the decimal point over to its rightful place and restore bay funding to $73 million.”

In 2017, at least $48 million of the allocated $73 million in funding went directly to the six watershed states and the District of Columbia. This funding supports on the ground projects that improve drinking water, restore oyster populations, reduce pollution from farmland, and create habitat for iconic species like striped bass and blue crabs. Last year, Maryland received more than $13.4 million in funding that was given to organizations like ShoreRivers, who work with farmers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to install new and improved technology to clean up local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

“To lose funding for the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort would hinder the years of the progress that we have made to clean our local waterways,” said Jeff Hortsman, executive director of ShoreRivers. “It would result in a loss of skilled environmental expertise and eliminate important jobs, both of which are necessary and vital to complete the bay clean up. Giving up halfway should not be an option.”

Severn Bank

 

Category: Local News, NEWS

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