The Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams span six states and Washington, D.C. They’re home to 17 million people and contribute $1 trillion dollars to the economy. And, shamefully, they’re terribly polluted. In fact, they’re officially listed on EPA’s notorious “dirty waters” list. The good news is that we are at the dawn of a new era for the Chesapeake Bay.
In 2010, EPA issued a science-based pollution limit for the states whose rivers and streams flow to the Chesapeake. This new approach recognizes that pollution comes from a variety of sources and communities and ensures everyone is responsible for their “fair share” of the clean-up. Accountability and enforcement are at the heart of this new plan that will accelerate pollution reduction and restore the Bay’s health. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), citizens, community leaders and our partner organizations have worked for over four decades for this moment.
But just as we are poised to realize a new era in pollution reduction for the Chesapeake, powerful interests are fighting to derail the plan.
Some members of Congress and national industry associations - from agriculture to construction and development - are attempting to undermine the pollution limits currently in place and undercut the federal government's role in making sure that all Americans have access to clean, swimmable, fishable waters. All of us who know the value of clean, safe water must make our voices heard, loudly and repeatedly. This is no time for silence.
Let your voice be heard today by urging your representatives in Congress to support efforts to clean up our waterways.
Clean and healthy water plays a huge role in making the Chesapeake Bay watershed the wonderful region that it is. Residents and businesses alike rely on it for fishing, boating, and swimming, for recreation and for their livelihood. We are halfway to our goal of restoring the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. Efforts to save the Bay at the local, state, and federal level are under way. We cannot afford to have the clock turned back due to a simple lack of political will.
I understand that EPA and the states have developed a strategy under the Clean Water Act to end excess pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. I also understand that this strategy is being fought by huge agricultural and development industries. In my view, these pollution limits are critical to the quality of life in this region.
Please do not let Congress stop the Bay pollution limits, and work with your colleagues to ensure that the recovery and restoration of Chesapeake Bay is a success.
Thank you for all you do for our area. Please continue to make this a priority.
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