by Stephanie Smith
February 11, 2016
The Chesapeake Bay region could receive nearly $29 million in conservation funding under President Obama’s proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year, announced earlier this week. If approved by Congress, the funds could conserve land throughout the Bay watershed.
Of the proposed $29 million, a significant portion is tied to the Rivers of the Chesapeake Collaborative Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) proposal, which focuses on protecting the James, Nanticoke, Potomac, Rappahannock, Susquehanna and York Rivers and the lands that surround them. By improving water quality; providing critical habitat for fish, shellfish and migratory birds; and offering opportunities for public access, preserving these landscapes would help meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Bay Program partners are currently welcoming feedback on a draft two-year work plan to support land preservation in the region.
“By acquiring land in key places, federal agencies can protect critical wildlife habitat and nationally significant cultural resources, and enhance the watershed’s natural ability to filter out sediments and nutrients before they reach the Bay,” said Joel Dunn, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, in a media release. Chesapeake Conservancy is one of the lead partners behind the Rivers of the Chesapeake proposal.
The President’s $4.1 trillion budget recommendation includes $900 million for the national Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports the conservation of land and water resources across the United States and aims to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to all Americans.