Senators Tom Carper, D-Delaware and Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, stood on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay to highlight the effects that President Donald Trump’s budget cuts would have on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Joined by conservation leaders and elected officials, Carper and Cardin called on congressional appropriators to reject the president’s proposals that would eliminate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program and cut funding for other core programs to maintain and restore the health of the bay.

More than 11 million people obtain drinking water directly from the rivers and streams that eventually flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program coordinates watershed restoration and conservation efforts throughout the region. The majority of funds from the programs go directly to states and local communities for on-the-ground restoration projects.

“President Trump’s proposal to completely eliminate the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program is completely absurd,” said Carper. “Thousands of Delawareans and millions across our region depend on a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay. Slashing the funding that allows the EPA to maintain this environmental and economic resource is irresponsible, and it’s bad for business. A thriving bay means a thriving local economy, and any actions to undo the progress we’ve made to the restore the bay are shortsighted and put millions at risk. You can be sure that Sen. Cardin and I will keep fighting to protect the Chesapeake Bay so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy it the same way we have for generations.”

“The Chesapeake Bay Program and related efforts are delivering encouraging results throughout the watershed and have built tremendous momentum moving forward, yet President Trump still targeted them for elimination. Pulling the federal government out of this effective regional partnership makes absolutely no sense to anyone who cares about a healthy economy or a healthy environment,” said Cardin. “Sen. Carper and I understand that we are moving forward on the Chesapeake Bay restoration precisely because all of the bay states are working together. President Trump’s plan to erase the blueprint for cooperation shows a fundamental failure to understand how restoration of this magnitude best gets done and how the federal government is an essential lynchpin in that effort.”

The senators were joined by Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Sheree Sample-Hughes, a Maryland state delegate; and Jake Day, mayor of Salisbury, Md.