From Friends of the Rappahannock
The Senate Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and related agencies has proposed that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program receive $73 million, the same as in previous years. $12 million of that budget will go toward on the ground restoration projects led by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Friends of the Rappahannock, conservation group based in Fredericksburg, has received funding through these federal programs which enables on the ground restoration projects in the Rappahannock River watershed. These projects include: tree plantings, fish passage improvements, and stormwater management.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said he was pleased the Senate “recognized a good thing when we saw it and fully funded” bay restoration. Chanté Coleman, director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, said “Without full funding for the Program, the progress we have made to improve our waterways will be jeopardized and possibly reversed.”
Municipalities throughout Virginia are continually faced with aging infrastructure, immense flooding, shoreline erosion, and waterways with growing dead zones and need these federal programs to protect their communities and natural resources.
Kathleen Harrigan, Executive Director of Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) says thank you to all the local friends and advocates that brought this issue to their elected officials. “Each person is an essential element in our Rappahannock River community; where citizens and elected officials are educated about river stewardship and take action to protect it” said Harrigan.
The Senate has taken the steps to fully fund the Chesapeake Bay program and the Friends of the Rappahannock are hopeful the House of Representatives will join them in providing essential funding for the restoration of the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay.