NORFOLK, Va. — Several members of Congress from Virginia signed onto a bill Wednesday to accelerate efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
The legislation — dubbed the Chesapeake Bay Conservation Acceleration Act of 2023 — seeks to direct federal resources to help the approximately 83,000 farms within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and boost conservation efforts.
The bill includes $75 million over four fiscal years to support farmer conservation practices, forest buffer programs to limit runoff pollution, workforce development grants to expand conservation technical assistance, and expanded oversight of invasive catfish.
In the U.S. House, the bill is supported by Reps. Rob Wittman (VA-01), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and John Sarbanes (MD-03). U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
The bill is also being supported by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Choose Clean Water Coalition, Chesapeake Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Commission.