Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee have passed two bills funding key investments to the Chesapeake Bay, including an historic $85 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program once slated for the chopping block.
The committee passed the $46.4 billion Energy and Water Development bill, which funds programs that address climate change, improve water infrastructure and protect against a nuclear threat. The bill is a $1.8 billion increase from current spending levels; in addition, the committee passed the $37.3 billion Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill, which supports public lands, clean air and water initiatives and endangered species. This is an increase of $1.73 billion over 2019. The bill includes the Chesapeake Bay Program, which the Trump Administration has repeatedly sought to eliminate under previous budget requests.
The bills now move from the Appropriations Committee to consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives. The committee adopted dozens of Congressman Ruppersberger’s funding requests, such as:
● $85 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program
● $17.3 million for the Poplar Island and Baltimore harbors/channels dredging projects
● $22.2 million for dredging the Intracoastal Waterway and Delaware River to the Chesapeake Bay
● $147 million more for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (total funding now $1.7 billion)
The committee also adopted Congressman Ruppersberger’s requested language supporting the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Water Resources and Restoration Plan and the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration Program.