Chesapeake Executive Council Signs Resolution in Support of Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan elected chair of Executive Council
Annapolis, MD (June 08, 2017)
Today, at the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, representatives from the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states, the District of Columbia and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, signed a resolution in support of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. The Chesapeake Executive Council, established in 1983, is responsible for guiding the Chesapeake Bay Program’s policy agenda and setting conservation and restoration goals. Members include the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on behalf of the federal government. Federal law and practice prohibited EPA from signing this resolution due to the advocacy statements contained within.
The resolution calls upon the President and the United States Congress to continue the current level of federal support for the Chesapeake Bay Program and the participating partners for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, including the active, coordinating role of the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office. It also calls for science, monitoring, modeling and restoration to be continued with the full participation of local, state and federal agencies and private sector entities as appropriate.
The Executive Council also elected Maryland Governor Larry Hogan as their new Chair, succeeding Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who became chair on January 1, 2015. Under Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, the Executive Council oversaw the release of 25 management strategies that outline the plans the Chesapeake Bay Program will take to achieve the goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, as well as the landmark funding agreement between EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to commit an additional $28 million dollars to enhance federal and state investments in Pennsylvania to accelerate nutrient reductions.
“It has been my honor to serve as Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Executive Council for the last two and a half years” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “We are seeing real, measurable progress in water quality and habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries which bodes well for the future of the ecology of the bay and the significant economic activity it supports. It is time to forcefully build on our success and continue to make the necessary state and federal investments in restoration, science and public engagement that have been the hallmark of this partnership.”
The Executive Council also heard from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s three Advisory Committees, who also voiced their support for the partnership. These committees represent citizens, local governments and scientific and technical interests from across the watershed.
"Now more than ever, we must work together to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay”, said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration has invested more than $3 billion in Bay restoration efforts, fully funded the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and Program Open Space, and expanded innovative partnerships to preserve this priceless resource and national treasure we call home. As the newly elected chair of the Executive Council, I pledge to be a fierce advocate for greater environmental progress and deeper collaboration upstream and throughout the Bay watershed."
"It has been my honor to serve as Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Program's Executive Council for the last two and a half years. We are seeing real, measurable progress in water quality and habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries which bodes well for the future of the ecology of the bay and the significant economic activity it supports. It is time to forcefully build on our success and continue to make the necessary state and federal investments in restoration, science and public engagement that have been the hallmark of this partnership."
-- Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia
"Now more than ever, we must work together to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. Our administration has invested more than $3 billion in Bay restoration efforts, fully funded the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and Program Open Space, and expanded innovative partnerships to preserve this priceless resource and national treasure we call home. As the newly elected chair of the Executive Council, I pledge to be a fierce advocate for greater environmental progress and deeper collaboration upstream and throughout the Bay watershed."
-- Larry J. Hogan, Jr., Governor, State of Maryland
“We urge the President and Congress to continue the funding for this federal-state partnership. Without doubt, it’s the reason that the Bay’s water quality has shown recent improvements. But the partnership works best when it recognizes each state’s differences and challenges, and supports each state’s unique approach. Pennsylvania’s role as the source of the Bay means that we’re focusing on clean water where we live, with the added benefit of value to all residents of the partnership states.”
-- Tom Wolf, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
"As the new Governor of Delaware, my Action Plan includes cleaning up Delaware's waterways, investing in open space preservation, coordinating resources to address the effects of sea level rise and improving outdoor recreational activities. We are pleased to be part of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership where these priorities are shared by other jurisdictions."
-- John C. Carney Jr., Governor, State of Delaware
“By signing this resolution, we recognize the significant progress each jurisdiction has made to restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and we affirm the federal government’s obligation to continue to support the important scientific work that is improving our water quality and protecting valuable habitat.”
-- Muriel Bowser, Mayor, District of Columbia
"As a legislator from a State which generates fifty percent of the fresh water that flows into the Chesapeake Bay, I understand that Pennsylvania has a responsibility to help restore the Bay. However, the fact remains that we cannot restore this national treasure without the continued support of the Federal government both financially and with multiple agency technical assistance."
-- Garth Everett, Chair, Chesapeake Bay Commission and Pennsylvania State Representative
"For more than 30 years, the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership has helped those of us working at the local level by providing the resources, research and innovation needed to advance watershed protection and restoration, and the partnership has served as a forum for sharing expertise and lessons learned. The Executive Council must continue to actively support the partnership and it must be anchored by our federal partners, who are vital in bringing all the state and local partners together."
-- Bruce Williams, Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program Local Government Advisory Committee
"The geographic reach of the Chesapeake Bay partnership allows scientists and policy makers to collaborate across state lines to innovatively address regional challenges. However, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee can only be effective if governments continue to support 'intelligence gathering,' in the form of monitoring and model development, as needed to identify cost-effective restoration strategies and adapt to changing conditions."
-- Lisa Wainger, Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee
"Now is NOT the time to roll back our focus on restoration as proposed by the President's budget. Doing so would effectively waste all of our investments made to date and jeopardize the trust that citizens impart to governments to protect them from pollution. We hear from states and localities and know they cannot make up the difference or even maintain current efforts without continued federal commitments."
-- Paula Jasinski, Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program, Citizens Advisory Committee