Chesapeake Conservancy: Maryland Governor Hogan Shows Commitment to Restoring the Health of the Chesapeake

Governor’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Highlights Includes Provisions that Provide Full Funding for Program Open Space; Key Environmental Programs

 Annapolis, MD – Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn issued this statement after an initial review of priority items in Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget. The Governor’s proposed budget fully funds important environmental programs including $267.5 million ($14.5 million increase from FY 2019) for Program Open Space and $53.6 million for the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. The budget also includes $117.1 million in Bay Restoration Funding (BRF).

  • Program Open Space is Maryland’s leading land conservation program for the state to create new parks, wildlife and recreation areas and playgrounds for our communities. The funds preserve valuable agricultural and forest lands and historic and cultural assets.
  • The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund helps improve water quality and accelerate Bay restoration by funding non-point source pollution control projects, like streams and wetland restoration projects.
  • The Bay Restoration Fund helps upgrade Maryland’s wastewater treatment plants and septic systems, and implement cover crops to reduce nitrogen pollution to the Bay.

His budget also provides funding for climate resiliency and preparedness and support for young farmers through the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition program. Additional support is provided for Maryland Park Service operations, and capital maintenance and development projects in state parks.

“By fully funding Program Open Space, the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, and the Bay Restoration Fund, Governor Hogan is once again providing the leadership Maryland needs to protect its precious cultural and natural resources. In a growing partnership with the General Assembly on these programs, together they continue progress toward restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

“Our community identity, health and economy are intimately tied to our environment.  We continue to face daunting environmental challenges, from pollution, to habitat loss to climate change. This budget makes it clear that the Governor recognizes the importance of these issues, is committed to addressing them and has made this a very high priority for his Administration.  Should the Maryland General Assembly support it, this natural resource budget will benefit current and future generations.

“With these record investments in Bay conservation and restoration, the Governor has continued to bolster a significant and growing conservation legacy.”

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Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

www.chesapeakeconservancy.org

Photo credit: Peter Turcik