Congressman Sarbanes is proud to represent Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, which has a strong tradition of environmental advocacy rooted in a passion for the Chesapeake Bay. He shares that passion and believes that our nation is facing a multitude of environmental problems such as protecting clean air and water, finding alternatives to the finite supply of fossil fuels, global warming, and many others.
As a leader on the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Task Force, Congressman Sarbanes is raising awareness among his colleagues in the Congress about the perils facing the Bay. With a particular focus on improving the health of Bay tributaries, he has helped inform Members who represent parts of the Bay watershed about pollution originating from streams or rivers in their District that flow into the Bay.
Congressman Sarbanes has introduced several bills related to Bay restoration:
The Chesapeake Gateways and Watertrails Network Continuing Authority Act (H.R. 1649), which passed in the House of Representatives in September of 2009.
- Permanently authorizes the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network (CBGN), which provides meaningful experiences at natural, cultural, historic and recreational sites on the Bay as well as encourages individual citizens to commit their own time and energy to the cleanup of the Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay Science, Education and Ecosystem Enhancement Act (H.R. 1650), which passed the House of Representatives in September of 2009.
- Reauthorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Chesapeake Bay Office which provides much of the scientific expertise that supports efforts to restore the Bay.
- Authorizes NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET) program which provides environmental education grants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
- Authorizes the Chesapeake Bay Interpretative Buoy System (CBIBS) which provides vital scientific and historical information to boaters, scientists and teachers about conditions in the Chesapeake Bay. Please visit www.buoybay.org for more details.
Reauthorization of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration and Protection program (H.R. 1652)
- Provides additional funding and encourages the Army Corps of Engineers to take on more projects such as storm water management and habitat restoration throughout the Bay watershed. Creates a small grants program for local jurisdictions and non-profits to partner with the Corps on these projects.
The No Child Left Inside Act (H.R. 2547)
- Developing the next generation of environmental stewards by creating new federal grant opportunities for environmental education curriculum development and teacher training. States that participate in the grant program would develop a K-12 plan to ensure high school graduates are environmentally literate.
Citizen Stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay
Congressman Sarbanes is fighting to provide adequate federal resources and enact a regulatory framework that will help improve the health of the Bay. But to truly Save the Bay, we all need to contribute. There are 17 million people who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. If each individual within the watershed were to contribute to clean-up efforts, even in small ways, the aggregate would yield significant results in moving Bay restoration forward. That is why he introduced
H.R. 1651, the Save the Bay Homeowner Act, legislation which would help the 17 million citizens of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to become citizen stewards of the Bay and give them an active role in restoring it. He plans to introduce it again in the 112th Congress.
You don’t have to live on the Bay to help because every corner of Maryland is part of the Bay watershed. You can make a difference in your own backyard and by taking care of the rivers, streams or creeks that run through your community. To see how you can help, go to www.chesapeakebay.net/helpthebay.aspx