On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22) spending bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. The bill would provide funding for several programs supporting the Chesapeake Bay.
Notably, the bill would increase funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program by $3M over FY 21 levels, for a total of $90.5M in FY 22. 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 $3M, and it would increase funding for the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office.
The bill would increase funding for the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Chesapeake Bay work by $1.2M. The USGS is 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 $5M in funding for a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant program that will enhance fish and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay, called Chesapeake WILD.
Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn issued the following statement in response to the Senate Interior appropriations bill:
“I applaud the Senate Appropriations Committee for releasing its Interior and Environment spending bill for FY 22. This bill would provide strong federal support for the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including increases in funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program and USGS research in the Chesapeake Bay.
“Investments in the science and monitoring of the Bay’s health and the health of our 64,000 square mile watershed, through the Chesapeake Bay Program, the USGS, and other programs, are critical in shared efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed and to provide public access to the Chesapeake Bay.
“This bill would also provide funding for a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program called Chesapeake WILD that would enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Bay and support outdoor recreation.
“I commend Senate Appropriators for their work on this bill, especially Senator Chris Van Hollen, and I urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”
About Chesapeake Conservancy’s
Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. We partnered to help create 194 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, and Fort Monroe National Monument. For more information, visit www.chesapeakeconservancy.org