March 2, 2024
Annapolis, US 53 F

Chesapeake Bay Commission Elects Senator Elfreth as 2022 Chair

At the conclusion of their two-day meeting in Annapolis, the members of the Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) elected their officers for 2022, including naming Maryland Senator Sarah Elfreth, as Chair of the Commission.  The CBC is a tri-state legislative body, with bipartisan membership from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, that works to advance policy at all levels of government to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The CBC is the only legislative member of the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership.

Senator Elfreth commented: “It’s an absolute honor to take the reins (and gavel) of this phenomenal organization dedicated to bringing bipartisan, multi-state policy solutions to tackle the complex challenges facing our greatest natural treasure, the Chesapeake Bay.

This is a pivotal moment in time – we are just four short years and a tremendous amount of work away from reaching our Watershed Implementation Plan goals.  The Commission has a 40-year history of achieving real legislative and budget wins in all three states on behalf of the Bay, even in the face of pressures such as population increase and a changing climate.  Now is the time to target not just the WIP goals that are in greatest need of our help but the streams, rivers, and tributaries that are most impaired. We can and will use the best science, dedicated partners, and increased federal and state investments to make meaningful progress in protecting and restoring the Bay for generations to come.

I’m deeply humbled by the confidence my colleagues have in me and I’m excited to dig into the important work ahead!”

Additionally, the CBC members elected the Chair and Vice-Chair for each State delegation as follows: Maryland, Chair: Senator Sarah K. Elfreth, Vice-Chair: Delegate Sara Love; Pennsylvania, Chair Representative Keith Gillespie, Vice-Chair Senator Scott Martin, Virginia, Chair: Senator Lynwood Lewis, Jr., Vice-Chair Delegate Rob Bloxom.

The Commission also thanked continuing member, but out-going Chair, Virginia Delegate David Bulova, for his service during 2021.  In his closing remarks, Delegate Bulova noted the robust conservations held by the members this year – often unfortunately via Zoom – and the continuing passion and energy that both the members and staff of the Commission bring to watershed restoration.  Due in large part to this commitment, the joint Federal-state effort is producing real results in cleaner water, healthier fisheries and greater economic and environmental resilience for the Watershed’s citizens.

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