It’s critically important that Virginia continues to invest in the proven water quality programs that will protect local streams, make our communities more resilient and help us meet our Chesapeake Bay Cleanup goals by 2025. Right now, budget negotiators at the General Assembly are working out the differences between the budget bills passed by the House and the Senate. You can help us urge our leaders to preserve these important items in the final budget bill:
Meet the need for Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan
The House budget bill includes significant funding for the bedrock clean water programs we need to fulfill our Bay commitments on time, including:
$69 million for agricultural best management practices to help farmers prevent runoff
$26 million for the Stormwater Local Assistance Funds to help urban areas and rural communities treat stormwater runoff
$150 million to upgrade treatment technologies at wastewater plants
Educate the next generation of environmental stewards
Both the House and Senate restored $170,000 to support environmental education through meaningful watershed educational experiences. Organizations that lead these programs throughout the Commonwealth continue to instill curiosity and problem-solving skills in students by providing safe and engaging environmental education, whether in person or online.
Pause on public boat ramp access fees that are a barrier for river users
Virginia’s Department of Wildlife Resources was authorized to adopt boat ramp access fees during the 2020 General Assembly, however these fees went into effect without the benefit of important stakeholder input. A one-size-fits-all approach can be a significant barrier for many river users. Both the House bill and Senate bill place a pause on this fee and call for a renewed stakeholder outreach process to evaluate an appropriate fee structure. But the House bill goes further by taking into consideration unintended impacts on economically disadvantaged users.
Please be a voice for the James River, and urge Committee Members to make clean water funding a priority. Take a moment to contact your legislators today.