Md. leaders protect funds for bay cleanup

Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, along with Rep. Steny Hoyer, deserve our thanks for securing funding in the recent omnibus appropriations bill to keep Maryland on track to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams ("For better or worse, spending bill passes," Dec. 15).

We are making progress, but the work is expensive and federal dollars are critical. The bill includes significant funds for oyster restoration, sewage treatment upgrades and assistance to farmers and suburban communities as they reduce polluted runoff. Dollars also are targeted for continued restoration work at Poplar Island and watershed education and training.

Investments in cleaning up our water such as these will pay off. The region will see $22.5 billion in additional economic benefits when we fully implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the plan for finishing the bay cleanup. We thank Maryland's entire congressional delegation for their commitment to this effort.

William C. Baker, Annapolis

The writer is president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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