WASHINGTON — Legislation was introduced on Friday to help provide more resources to Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts.
The Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (Chesapeake WILD) Act, if passed, will create a new grant program within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support habitat restoration in the Bay region.
The act is modeled after the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, which is funded at $5 million annually, and would provide millions in new resources to the Chesapeake Bay.
There are key areas in the tidal Chesapeake Bay system that would benefit from this program, including areas for wetland restoration.
The Chesapeake WILD Act is intended to assist local partners with on-the-ground work to enhance progress toward Chesapeake Bay watershed-wide goals on some of the following activities:
- Riparian forest buffer restoration
- Improving stream health
- Tidal and Non-tidal wetland restoration
- Improving fish habitat
- Expanding populations of black ducks
- Restoring and protecting eastern brook trout and their habitat
- Removing barriers to fish migration in freshwater systems
Virginia's Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are backing this legislation.
“Virginia is home to a rich population of wildlife that enhances our Commonwealth’s natural beauty and boosts our economy,” Senator Kaine said. “This legislation will reinforce our commitment to protecting their habitat and keeping the Chesapeake Bay watershed healthy.”
“The Chesapeake Bay is an ecological treasure and an important economic engine that supports thousands of jobs in Virginia,” said Sen. Warner. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce legislation to boost investment and provide the tools necessary to restore and protect the Bay for future generations to enjoy.”
The legislation is below:
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