Green to Go Green for Clean Water in the Chesapeake

My office sits near the bank of the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania, so it was a treat to leave the office several days ago to travel downstream to where this 464 mile long river flows into the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace, Maryland.

I was there to attend an announcement of $4 million in new federal funding for local governments to use for green infrastructure, like green roofs, parks, and green streets, for cleaner water to help meet pollution reduction goals.

My colleagues from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and I were greeted by Mayor Dougherty who grew up fishing and boating at Havre de Grace, but sadly watched the Bay decline in health. Today, the mayor is inspired by a slow return to a healthier Bay that is reinvigorating life in Harve de Grace.

My Susquehanna Greenway Partnership colleagues and I have each worked toward Bay clean-up over the course of the last 30 years. For us it was refreshing to know investments will be made through this new initiative to promote cost effective green infrastructure projects throughout the Bay.

American Rivers recently commissioned a report that shows that in just one Maryland County, the estimated present value of the multiple benefits of green infrastructure (e.g. reduced flooding, cleaner water, energy savings) over 50 years is up to $350 million. That’s a good investment.

So while that was a refreshing day, meanwhile some Members of Congress are trying to roll-back clean water protections for the Chesapeake and rivers, like the Susquehanna, that flow into them. Act now to stop that from happening.