First Light, a boat belonging to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, heads toward the Route 50 bridge on the Severn River in Arnold on Thursday. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

For years, Virginia’s Piankatank River has provided for me and my family. From oysters and crabs to a cooling dip on a hot day, the river has never stopped giving. There were decades that we were worried about pollution from upstream and that contaminated Chesapeake Bay tides would ruin the river, our livelihood and place of refuge. However, recent years have seen a turning tide with support from the federally funded Chesapeake Bay Program, which supported projects that added oyster beds to our river, cleaning the water and providing a source of income for local residents.

President Trump proposed a 90 percent cut to this program for fiscal 2020. Our way of life is in the balance. Congress, which controls the nation’s budget, must reject this egregious gutting. We cannot allow anyone to throw away the future of our most precious resource.

Valerie Hubbard, Richmond