U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) led Democratic senators from throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in urging the leadership of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to support strong funding levels for several agencies and programs vital to the recovery and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay.

Senators Cardin and Van Hollen were joined on a recent letter by Senators Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey, Jr. (Penn.), Mark Warner (Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Chris Coons (Del.) and Tim Kaine (Va.).

Headlined by a request of $90.5 million in fiscal 2022 appropriations for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program – a $3 million increase – the senators also urged their colleagues to support $15 million in FY22 appropriations for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake WILD Program, newly established last October in the bipartisan America’s Conservation Enhancement Act.

Senators Cardin, Van Hollen and colleagues also advocated annual funding levels of at least $8.25 million for the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office’s efforts, including $1.75 million specifically for oyster restoration, and more than $16 million for U.S. Geological Survey initiatives within the watershed; and spotlighted the need to provide robust funding for a wide variety of USDA and EPA grant programs, as well as to support the scientific research, education and outreach carried out by the National Sea Grant College Program ($115.7 million) and the Marine Aquaculture Program ($13.1 million).

To read the senators’ full funding request, go to www.cardin.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY22%20Chesapeake%20Bay%20Cross%20Cutter%20Funding%20Letter%206-17-21%20(002).pdf