On March 11, 2010, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley requested $87 million in federal funding to support the State’s natural resources during his annual federal priorities presentation to the Maryland Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill.
The Governor’s requests included more than $30 million for Bay restoration efforts, part of a Maryland plan to meet its nutrient reduction goals by 2020. The plan includes funding for habitat and water quality monitoring and assessment, Bay grass restoration, expanding operations at the Cooperative Oxford Lab, and clean marinas.
“This funding is nothing less than preventative health care for the Chesapeake Bay and our economy.” said Kim Coble, Maryland Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “It will help implement important Bay restoration actions and create jobs. This funding makes economic and environmental sense.”
Other Chesapeake Bay-related projects included in the federal priorities are:
– $10 million to implement the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Plan, a public-private partnership.
– Nearly $7.5 million to support Maryland’s vulnerable coastal communities, including funding for beach replenishment and shoreline protection along Ocean City, Assateague Island and Smith Island.
– $5 million to support Maryland’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Redevelopment Plan, including funding for stock assessments and habitat evaluation.
– $3.5 million in grants to the Natural Resources Police that will support boating safety education and will greatly enhance the State’s ability to enforce maritime and conservation laws – including the illegal harvest of oysters, crabs and striped bass.
The balance of the Governor’s request — approximately $16.5 million — wil go towards programs including: expanded recreational opportunities and boating access; wildlife management, invasive species eradication and hunting safety; urban, community and private landowner forestry programs; and fires assistance programs.
“During his first year in office, President Obama has made restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and protection of our environment a priority. We are very optimistic about the support of his Administration for these priorities,” added Governor O’Malley.