The Trump administration’s plan to cut Environmental Protection Agency staff by a fifth and eliminate key programs raises troubling questions about support for the highly successful Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint [“White House could slash EPA staff 20%,” front page, March 2]. The White House proposal would reduce annual funding for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup project by 93 percent, from $73 million this fiscal year to $5 million in the next.
The project represents a unique state/federal cleanup plan begun in 2010. It is working: The Chesapeake is getting better, and each partner plays a role. The states developed and implemented their own plans to reduce pollution and restore water quality. The EPA’s portion of the cleanup program coordinates the science, research and modeling to implement the blueprint and makes grants that fund pollution reduction. Today, pollution is down. Jobs have been created, human health protected and local economies improved. The Chesapeake Bay’s “dead zone” where aquatic life cannot thrive is getting smaller; crabs, oysters and underwater grasses are rebounding. But the bay is far from saved. A budget cut of this magnitude would reverse that progress. Bay restoration efforts have a long history of bipartisan support. Our elected officials have consistently pursued a legacy of clean water. Let’s make sure they succeed.
William C. Baker, Baltimore
The writer is president of the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation.