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Chesapeake Bay legislation good for sportsmen

The Chesapeake Bay and the rich habitat it contains provide outstanding sporting opportunities for the region's millions of hunters, anglers and birders. As a Maryland resident sportsman, conservationist and professional wildlife biologist, I support the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, which is currently before Congress. The legislation would improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and ensure that generations of sportsmen and other outdoors enthusiasts will continue to enjoy the region's wildlife-oriented traditions.

The act would reduce nutrient and sediment pollution in the bay to meet water-quality standards, enhance valuable habitat diversity and access for wildlife-related recreation. Seventy to 80 percent of Atlantic striped bass stocks rely on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for their spawning and nursery areas. In addition, the region is a critical winter stopover for about 1 million ducks, geese and swans in the Atlantic Flyway — roughly one-third of waterfowl wintering along the Atlantic coast. Supporting these clean water provisions is needed for the future of a healthy Chesapeake Bay and the priceless fish and wildlife recreation it should provide for generations to come.

Tom Franklin, Washington

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