FEDERAL UPDATE

Senator Mikulski: A Champion for the Bay Spring 2016

 

CBF's Federal Policy Director Alix Murdoch. Photo by Marissa Rauch.
CBF's Federal Policy Director Alix Murdoch. Photo by Marissa Rauch.

Every now and then you hear someone speak and their voice is so strong and clear, you stop and listen. Somehow they put into words things you have been thinking for a while—eloquently. And you decide then and there to follow their lead. Maybe it's the new rector at your church, or your child's new teacher. Or maybe, just maybe, it's a senator. For 45 years, Senator Mikulski of Maryland has been speaking—and leading—with a strong voice about something that matters to us a lot: saving the Chesapeake Bay.

"The Chesapeake Bay is a natural resource critical to our economy, culture, and heritage. You can count on me to fight to protect the Chesapeake Bay and protect the lives and livelihoods that depend on it." –U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.)

This year—her last in Congress—the Bay needs Senator Mikulski to fight the fight of her life. In February, we explained how Pennsylvania is so far behind in reducing nitrogen pollution from agriculture that it has made the whole region off track.  But we also explained that there are waiting lists of farmers who want to do their part but need support.  With the right federal support, the Bay cleanup can in fact get back on track.

This is the kind of fight Senator Mikulski does best, and there are three key points that are critical to her fight:

  1. Senator Mikulski has an incredible track record of securing strong federal funding for Bay Cleanup.

  2. Members of Congress from the Bay Watershed know how important it is to support farmers—because they have heard from you.

  3. Now, Senator Mikulski is not fighting alone.  

On April 16, 2016, Bay watershed senators wrote directly to Appropriators in support of the Bay and clean water across the region: "States have committed to restore water quality in the Bay by 2025 and to coordinate their restoration programs. We must maintain federal investment . . ."

Speaking, leading, and fighting for the Bay. These are the core qualities of Senator Mikulski—and CBF. In September, when the funding bills must be passed, we hope we can add "Winning strong support for Bay farmers" to this list. Because with federal leadership, we can get the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint back on track, and Senator Mikulski can leave office with a legacy of fighting and winning for the Bay, bar none.  

—Alix Murdoch
Federal Policy Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

 

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