Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.) today introduced the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education and Ecosystem Enhancement (SEEE) Act, a bipartisan bill that strengthens Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts by supporting ongoing work at the local, state and federal levels to boost Bay health, manage fisheries, restore habitats and award environmental education grants to better connect students to the Bay.
“This new bill joins a growing list of bipartisan efforts we’ve launched over the last several years to enhance the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “By working across the aisle – and bringing together our partners at the local, state and federal levels – we can deliver critical resources that help reduce pollution, bolster restoration efforts, improve resiliency and protect wildlife habitats throughout the Watershed. Importantly, this bill will increase environmental education opportunities to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards and ensure that Bay restoration and protection remains a key priority for our children and grandchildren.”
“This legislation will reauthorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chesapeake Bay Office, which has been a leader in the work to monitor fisheries, water quality and other indicators of the Bay’s health,” said Congressman Scott. “The office provides information to local partners and policy makers and their ongoing work is critical to stewarding the Bay for future generations.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues to continue our work to protect the Chesapeake Bay,” said Congressman Wittman. “NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office does important work protecting and conserving the critical coastal and marine habitat in Virginia – ensuring healthy and sustainable fisheries and vibrant commercial and recreational opportunities for so many. Also, by helping students to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay and what it takes to protect it, we can inspire the next generation to conserve this national treasure.”
Key provisions of the Chesapeake Bay SEEE Act include:
- Reauthorizing the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (CBO), which has been a leading partner in the Bay restoration effort and fishery community;
- Directing NOAA to support coordinated management, protection, characterization and restoration of Bay habitats and living resources;
- Authorizing the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program, which awards education grants to better connect residents to the Bay and its restoration; and
- Providing critical resources for NOAA CBO to fulfill its mission and enhance the Chesapeake Bay region.