House, Senate Recognize 50th Anniversary Of Chesapeake Bay Foundation

On Tuesday the House and Senate unanimously passed resolutions recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and commending the foundation for five decades of outstanding public service to the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding region.

The resolutions were introduced by Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), who is now serving as Chair of the interstate Chesapeake Bay Commission and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), who is Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and also a member of the Commission.

The text of the resolutions-- House Resolution 231 (Everett-R-Lycoming) and Senate Resolution 110 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) follows--

Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and commending the foundation for five decades of outstanding public service to the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding region.

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a nonprofit, multistate organization with headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland, opened its first office in 1967 with an inspiring, ambitious mission statement to "Save the Bay"; and

WHEREAS, This Commonwealth provides half of the fresh water that flows into the Chesapeake Bay; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation opened its office in Pennsylvania in 1986 to assist in the cleanup and restoration of this Commonwealth's rivers and streams; and

WHEREAS, From its inception, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has offered private citizens opportunities to support and participate directly in the protection and restoration of its namesake estuary and the rivers and streams that flow into it; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's presence has expanded to include offices in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Richmond, Virginia, Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Washington, DC, and 15 education centers in the 3 primary bay states and Washington, DC; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's total membership recently surpassed 236,000, including more than 33,000 members in Pennsylvania, 70,000 members in Virginia, 86,000 members in Maryland and 5,000 members in Washington, DC; and

WHEREAS, With the support of private and public funding, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's environmental education programs reach more than 35,000 students, teachers, administrators and policymakers each year, providing meaningful on-the-water field trip experiences, teacher training, curriculum materials, restoration programs and real-world views that have inspired generations of citizens to become lifelong stewards of the Chesapeake Bay; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's steadfast 50-year dedication to science-based public policy to "Save the Bay" has supported the development of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's members and staff advocate effectively for Clean Water Blueprint laws, regulations and programs at every level of government, materially reversing the Chesapeake Bay's decline and initiating a recovery process; and

WHEREAS, As part of the recovery process, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's members and staff advocate effectively in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland to support enhanced nutrient removal to upgrade wastewater treatment plant processes, resulting in major water quality gains; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation partners with Federal and state agricultural and environmental agencies to assist Chesapeake watershed farmers in the implementation of conservation measures to protect water quality in rivers and streams and to enhance the health and productivity of family farms; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Pennsylvania office was instrumental in the creation of the Pennsylvania Resource Enhancement and Protection Program and worked collaboratively with State agencies and the General Assembly on the enactment of the Commonwealth's Nutrient Management Act; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation works with state and local government officials, businesses, developers and residents to establish effective and innovative programs addressing the complex issue of stormwater runoff pollution; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's fisheries program contributes materially to conservation and sustainable management of striped bass, blue crabs, oysters, menhaden and shad in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a leader in oyster restoration in Maryland and Virginia, operating oyster restoration centers to educate and involve citizen volunteers in restoring the native oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay by growing more than 280 million live oysters and transplanting them onto state oyster reefs with the assistance of approximately 280,000 hours of labor donated by more than 10,000 volunteers; and

WHEREAS, Since 1997, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Pennsylvania office has been a leader in implementing innovative, science-based watershed restoration and has worked with more than 5,000 landowners in restoring more than 2,500 miles of forested riparian buffers and placing hundreds of other conservation practices on Pennsylvania farms; and

WHEREAS, Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff, partner organizations and more than 6,800 school students, families and individual volunteers have successfully completed hundreds of conservation projects in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, DC, including restoring more than 6,300 acres of wetlands, 20,900 acres of forested buffers and 2,500 miles of stream buffers, while installing more than 1,400 conservation best management practices on working farms and planting more than 2,300,000 trees; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Susquehanna Watershed Environmental Education Program, established in 1991, acquaints students and others with local rivers and streams to emphasize their importance in daily life through more than 2,000 programs involving approximately 45,000 students and teachers in its spring and fall Environmental Education Days; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Student Leadership Council, located in Pennsylvania, inspires student leaders by providing them with unique environmental educational experiences while assisting in the development of their personal voices as advocates for clean water; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Mentors in Agricultural Conservation's job-shadowing program prepares students for potential careers in agriculture; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation won the President's 1992 Environment and Conservation Challenge Award and the 1993 National Geographic Society's Chairman's Award, two of the nation's highest environmental honors, and the Good Steward Award from the Arbor Day Foundation's 2016 National Awards Competition; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation received the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in 2016 for assisting landowners in the planting of thousands of trees, reducing the pollution of rivers and streams and improving water quality in this Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has led the efforts to "Save the Bay" for 50 years and dedicates itself to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, a national treasure and the Mid-Atlantic region's greatest natural resource; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives/Senate of Pennsylvania recognize the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on its 50th anniversary and commend the foundation for five decades of outstanding public service to the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding region; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives/the Secretary of the Senate of Pennsylvania prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to William C. Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as an expression of gratitude for the foundation's outstanding efforts on behalf of the residents of this Commonwealth and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to become a member.

More information on Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Office webpage.

(Photo: Sen. Yaw, Rep. Everett.)


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