Federal Chesapeake Bay Program Slated for Deep Cut, Again

On Monday, the Trump Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2020. One of the proposed cuts, which will have a large impact on Maryland, rests within the drastic decrease of funding towards environmental programs following the announcement of a 31 percent cut in spending to the EPA.

This 90% cut, which reduces the Chesapeake Bay Program from $73 million to $7.3 million, follows a meeting between Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker and EPA Administrator Wheeler in which Wheeler “affirmed his full support of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.”

Governor Hogan stated on Wednesday that the drastic cut was not only “potentially devastating”, but also a “betrayal.” Much like the previous years, Hogan plans to oppose the cuts and continue to “urge…federal partners to protect these critical investments.”

The Chesapeake Bay is an economic and cultural cornerstone of Maryland, and leaders across the state are aware of the damage this could cause to the improving estuary. The Bay provides “economic and recreational benefits” to Maryland that are estimated at approximately $33 billion annually, a number that only increases as the quality of the Bay is restored.