Watershed Representatives Work to
Protect Conservation Aid for Farmers
Chris Van Hollen (MD)
Rob Wittman (VA)
Bobby Scott (VA)
Andy Harris (MD)
CBF is working to ensure that the Farm Bill
continues to fund critical assistance for Bay
farmers. Bay state Senators have done a good
job designing a program to provide targeted
assistance to areas of critical need—the
Regional Conservation Partnership Project.
Now, the Chesapeake Bay Task Force in the
House of Representatives is working to
encourage the House to do the same. Led
by Representatives Chris Van Hollen (MD),
Rob Wittman (VA), Bobby Scott (VA), and
Andy Harris (MD), they are asking the
House Committee on Agriculture to ensure
the new program mirrors the Senate’s proposed program.
The Farm Bill provides targeted conservation
funding for natural resource improvements
on farms, leverages private resources, and
includes programs that particularly improve
water quality. We believe the Senate version
of the Farm Bill will provide the targeted federal support needed to achieve significant
conservation gains in areas of critical need,
including the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
A strong Farm Bill is crucial
to the Chesapeake Clean
A bipartisan group of Bay legislators joined
the above members of the Task Force in calling for a strong Farm Bill for the Bay.
They included Representatives John Sarbanes
(MD), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), Elijah
Cummings (MD), James Moran (VA), Donna
Edwards (MD), John Delaney (MD), Eleanor
Holmes Norton (DC), Steny Hoyer (MD),
John Carney (DE), Scott Rigell (VA), Gerald
Connolly (VA), and Matt Cartwright (PA).
If you have a chance, be sure to thank these
members for their support for farmers in our
region, and for working for the strongest
possible program to meet their needs.
uFor more information, visit cbf.org/farmbill.
Federal funding for Bay programs continues
to be very important to reach our
Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint goals.
Through the appropriations process,
Congress authorizes agencies to spend
money through existing programs. In the
coming months, starting in March, we will be
working to ensure appropriators understand
the importance of particular federal programs—such as the Chesapeake Bay Program
and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund,
which is administered by EPA and state agencies to provide funding for water-quality
improvement projects—for the Blueprint.
Building Congressional Support
for the Blueprint
CBF members have many personal reasons
they love the Bay and the rivers and streams
that feed it. This year, we are working to
help members of Congress whose districts
are in the Bay watershed see and hear from
the many stakeholders in the Bay who
treasure it and depend on it.
In the coming months, CBF’s D.C. team
will continue to brief new hill staff about Bay
issues. In addition, CBF’s outreach staff
from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia,
along with some of their top volunteer “Bay
Captains,” will travel to Washington, D.C.,
to tell the Bay Congressional delegation how
important clean rivers and streams are to
people throughout the watershed. Our team
will urge support of the Chesapeake Bay
Program, the Clean Water State Revolving
Fund, and Farm Bill language that encourages water-quality conservation practices.
In all cases, demonstrating the broad support of CBF members for the Blueprint is a
critical part of our message. If you would
like to play a more active role in advocating
for the Bay on Capitol Hill, please contact
the CBF office in your state.
If you have not yet signed our “Blueprint
pledge,” please consider doing so at
uTo learn more or to join our online action
network, visit cbf.org/take-action.
As CBF staff fight to make Bay issues a priority
on Capitol Hill, it is critical that the Bay
Congressional delegation hears from CBF’s members who care deeply about the Bay and its
rivers and streams.