The Anacostia River in Washington DC. Photo Credit: Krista Schlyer/iLCP

Bolstering the Blueprint

In May, the Trump Administration proposed eliminating EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program—a program that plays a critical role in coordinating and sustaining the federal/state partnership to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams. So important is this program to Bay restoration that CBF President Will Baker compared its elimination to "flying a plane without instruments."

When word got out that the unprecedented Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint that is the hallmark of what could become the most successful estuary restoration effort in the world was at risk, we immediately fought back thanks to the passionate, steadfast support from thousands like you across the watershed.

With you by our side, we:

  • Alerted our members to this urgent threat and urged them to contact their representatives in Congress. More than 35,000 have signed our petition in support of fully funding the Chesapeake Bay Program.

  • Published op-eds and letters to the editor in a variety of local and regional newspapers, explaining why the Chesapeake Bay Program is critical to local clean-up efforts and the success of the Blueprint. CBF also appeared in national news regarding the cuts. Our Virginia Oyster Restoration Center was featured in a video produced by The New York Times, and CBF scientists and President Will Baker appeared on NPR's All Things Considered.

  • Advocated for bi-partisan support from lawmakers and regional leaders. CBF has worked closely with the Bay delegation to Congress, which jointly signed a letter to President Trump urging him to preserve the Bay Program's funding. We held an urgent and well-received lobby day, bringing CBF members to Washington to meet with their representatives. Although negotiations were still underway at the time of publication, the House Appropriations Committee has approved $60 million in funding for the Bay Program.

  • Partnered with more than 500 farming and conservation groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (an organization that previously opposed the Blueprint in a five-year legal battle), to urge Congress to maintain Farm Bill funding in the 2018 federal budget. The Farm Bill includes vital funding for conservation programs that help farmers reduce pollution.

When the Trump Administration released its initial budget, which included eliminating all funding to EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program, we did not stay silent. We released a special edition podcast and a video from CBF President Will Baker. The video (also shown below) went viral, reaching more than 1.3 million people on Facebook.

Sidebar Photo: Robert Miller.