Washington, DC -- American Rivers today applauded Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) for his strong efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay by introducing legislation that provides enforceable deadlines for meeting clean water goals for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. For the first time, clean up plans for nutrients and sediment must apply to all sources of pollution including development, roads and highways, and agricultural runoff. The legislation, the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009, authorizes more than $1.5 billion in new grant authority for states and local governments to implement plans and projects for clean water and puts the force of law behind President Obama’s Executive Order requiring every federal department to work toward restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.
“We applaud Senator Cardin for introducing this bill to protect the health and safety of Chesapeake Bay communities,” said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. “Congress should act to carefully consider the bill, which may well serve as a blueprint for rivers across the country.”
American Rivers is particularly supportive of the legislation’s effort to achieve clean water, including strong provisions to reduce polluted stormwater runoff, the only growing source of pollution in the Bay watershed. The legislation provides funding to communities that adopt strong stormwater ordinances and emphasizes using green infrastructure techniques to treat water on-site, which has far-reaching benefits – it saves money and energy, protects clean drinking water supplies, and helps communities prepare for climate change.
“We can no longer afford to take clean water for granted. By supporting clean water and healthy ecosystem investments, the Restoration Act will help ensure a future of clean water for generations to come,” said Wodder.
American Rivers is working in the area to give Bay communities tools to better manage stormwater with 21st century solutions. In Maryland, American Rivers released the report, Clean Water for Maryland: Local Ordinances for Environmental Site Design to help localities adopt sustainable stormwater policies and in Pennsylvania, has made progress with the state funding agency (PENNVEST) towards a greater commitment to provide funding for green infrastructure stormwater management approaches.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.