Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force Leads House Passage of Comprehensive Effort to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Andy Harris, M.D. (R-Md.) today led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, a bill that includes several provisions to help boost conservation and cleanup efforts across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

“Today's passage of the ACE Act is a significant step forward in the journey to achieving the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and protecting the Bay for future generations,” said Congressman Scott. “I am pleased that this package includes Chesapeake WILD, a bill I introduced that will help restore the Bay and its tributaries while also increasing recreational opportunities; preserve critical habitat for fish and wildlife; and mitigate flooding throughout the watershed”

“Today, the House took a tremendously important step forward to protect the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay and to ensure that it remains an environmental treasure and an economic driver for years to come,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The ACE Act will make record investments in the Chesapeake Bay Program, a successful federal-state partnership to reduce pollution in the Bay. It will also establish a number of initiatives to help restore ecosystems throughout the Watershed and expand recreational opportunities for millions of residents across the region. We will continue working together – across the aisle – to strengthen the health of the Bay and protect it for future generations.”

“The ACE Act is a once in a generation advancement to clean-up the Chesapeake Bay and protect and conserve our natural environment across America,” said Congressman Wittman. “The Bay is a national treasure, and the ACE Act provides additional resources and extends critical conservation programs the preserve wetlands, reduce pollution and increase recreational opportunities in Virginia.”

“It’s important that Congress acted in bipartisan fashion to help restore the Chesapeake Bay in the waning days of the 116th Congress,” said Congressman Harris. “This action sends a strong signal that preservation of the Bay is truly a national priority.”

The ACE Act contains several bipartisan bills introduced and advanced by the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, including:

  • Reauthorizing the Chesapeake Bay Program at $92 million annually – a meaningful boost from the previous $73 million annual federal investment in the program;
  • The Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2427); and
  • The Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (Chesapeake WILD) Act.