ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 12, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley issued this statement today following the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly released strategy to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay under President Obama’s Executive Order:
“We are very encouraged by President Obama’s Executive Order and the new federal strategy to improve the health of the Bay. The new strategy calls for an unprecedented level of federal cooperation and leadership for the Chesapeake Bay, and significantly raises expectations for success. In Maryland we are committed to accelerating the Bay restoration effort, and BayStat has given us a clear sense of the actions necessary to meet our objectives and the cost of meeting those objectives. Because of the tough choices we’ve already made as a State and as a region, many effective programs already exist and are accelerating progress, targeting our resources geographically to achieve the best results.
“Maryland’s recent actions on stormwater, taking steps to better manage poultry litter and power plant rules, put our State in a positive position to meet the objectives. The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund provides funding for our restoration efforts. And these efforts are already yielding results. Our action on blue crabs has resulted in increased populations for two years in a row. Maryland’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development plan will help us rebuild an abundant, self-sustaining native oyster population. And Program Open Space is targeting our most ecologically important lands for preservation, while other programs are funding upgrades to wastewater treatment plants and installation of best management practices on farm land.
“The next critical task is to integrate programming with federal, state, local and grassroots organizations, targeting resources and personnel to the same geographic areas wherever possible. Collectively, we can avoid creating new federal programs by enhancing existing state, local and grassroots actions that are well-suited to meet the goals of this ambitious strategy.
“The path ahead will not be easy, cheap or without controversy. However, with widespread public support for bold action to restore the Chesapeake, we can leave our national treasure to the next generation in better shape than when we inherited her.”