May 26, 2021

Manchin Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill To Support Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts

Senator Manchin’s legislation would help protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, improve ecosystem management and increase environmental stewardship opportunities
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education and Ecosystem Enhancement (SEEE) Act, which aims to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, strengthen fisheries management and expand environmental education programs for residents across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
“I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, an incredible wildlife area that includes multiple counties in West Virginia. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we work to reauthorize the NOAA Chesapeake Bay office and the programs they support to benefit the habitats in our state and across the Chesapeake Bay region,” said Senator Manchin.

The Chesapeake Bay SEEE Act would:
  •        Reauthorize the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (CBO), a key partner of the Bay Program and leader of the Program’s fisheries, environmental literacy, climate resiliency, and habitat work. The bill would allow NOAA CBO to collaborate with universities, nonprofits, and other Bay stakeholders to promote integrated coastal observations – such as monitoring and observing restoration activities, collecting and analyzing marine resources data – and information sharing to assist policymakers, resource managers, and the public.
  •        Direct NOAA to support coordinated management, protection, characterization, and restoration of Bay habitats and living resources, as well as the Interpretive Buoy System along the Capital John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
  •        Authorize the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program, which awards educational grants related to Bay restoration.
  •        Reauthorize NOAA CBO through 2025, funding it at $12 million in FY22, $20.7 million in FY23, $22.57 million in FY24, and $24.627 million in FY25.
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the U.S. More than 150,000 streams and rivers thread through the Chesapeake’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to 18 million people across West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and the District of Columbia.
Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives John Sarbanes (D-MD), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA).

Bill text can be found here.