Letter to the Editor: Killing the Chesapeake Bay watershed
President Trump recently announced his proposed budget for 2019. As an avid angler on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, I was once again dismayed to see his proposed cuts to vital programs that protect our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.
As most know, the president proposed zeroing out the Chesapeake Bay fund last year, a $73 million cut. This sparked massive outrage throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Every member of Virginia’s congressional delegation in the watershed, including our known opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency and clean water U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, came out in opposition to these cuts. Despite the widespread outrage, the Trump administration was back at it this year, proposing a 90 percent cut to the Chesapeake Bay Fund and a 34 percent cut to the EPA. I guess they’ll never learn.
The president’s budget dedicates $7.3 million to “monitoring” the health of the bay and its tributaries; but allocates no money to actual restoration efforts. What a joke! Anyone who has spent as much time as I have on the rivers that feed the Chesapeake Bay know that restoration must continue to be done. Simply monitoring their health is not nearly enough. Remember the “security monitor” commercial? Pretty useless, right? What good does it do to just monitor the problem if there is no funding to make the preservation efforts continue?
While we have made great strides the last several years, there is much work to be done in preserving the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries like the Shenandoah. We must not slow our progress now.
Herschel Finch, conservation chairman
-Izaak Walton League, Warren County Chapter
-Potomac River Smallmouth Club