Sun Op-Ed: Don’t Destroy the Chesapeake Bay Program

In a Baltimore Sun op-ed (2017-10-25) Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker and the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) William Ruckleshaus argued for continuing funding and support for the Chesapeake Bay Program. In the op-ed, the writers outlined the history of the Bay Program from its creation in the early 1980s through today. They also cited the recent progress that has been made in Bay restoration efforts and argued that this success would be endangered if federal support was withdrawn.

The op-ed noted the Bay Program was created under the Administration of President Ronald Reagan after a 1983 study showed the Bay was in serious decline. This led to the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement and Reagan increasing the funding to the EPA for the bay. The op-ed noted that although it has taken decades, there is finally significant progress being made on Bay restoration:


The Chesapeake Bay Program was the first comprehensive, waterbody-based effort for the EPA, and it has become a model for similar efforts to improve equally important waters elsewhere in the country: Puget Sound, Long Island Sound, San Francisco Bay and others. …

EPA was created largely because of the public outcry for government to do something about the polluted environment; the public demanded action, and they got it. That’s how the system is supposed to work. Now that we are realizing the results of that action, why would we want to stop?