A Shot in the Arm for Chesapeake Bay Restoration

With the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams will receive an important boost.

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay

For years, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have spoken on the need to invest in our country’s infrastructure. After countless speeches and many failed attempts, it’s possible that with the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that the wait is finally over. Included in this historic investment is a provision of $238 million over five years for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. While this is just a small fraction of the overall legislation, this funding will serve as a shot in the arm to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.

First created in 1983, the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program is the glue that holds the Bay cleanup together, supporting on-the-ground projects that improve drinking water, reduce pollution from farmland, and create habitat for iconic species like striped bass, oysters, and blue crabs. This support for the Chesapeake Bay Program will come at a crucial time as the states and the Federal government are trying to meet the 2025 clean-up goals throughout the region. 

Investing in clean water infrastructure throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-square mile watershed will maximize the resilience of land and water resources to protect communities, improve public health, and safeguard the environment. And with the growing threats posed by climate change, including sea-level rise and larger and more frequent floods and storms, this support will be very timely. What’s more, this investment will not only help provide all the benefits clean water brings, but the many on-the-ground restoration projects this funding supports will also deliver good jobs and stimulate local economies. 

By accelerating the nation’s progress to protect and restore clean water, this legislation will be a game-changer for these efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As the legislation moves to the House of Representatives, it’s crucial that members of Congress hear from their constituents on the need to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the many benefits it will provide to local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Choose Clean Water Coalition, hosted by the National Wildlife Federation, harnesses the collective power of more than 250 local, state, regional, and national groups to advocate for clean rivers and streams throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.