Congress is mulling requests from the Bush administration and its own members for federal agency funding during the 1992 fiscal year which begins October 1.
About $35 million has been requested for Bay-related activities by members of Congress representing the Bay states; somewhat less has been requested by the administration.
This summary of requests includes Bay-specific projects and programs, and therefore does not include funding for sewage treatment construction grants, Sea Grant, the Coastal Zone Management Act, anadromous fish conservation grants, Clean Water Act Section 319 nonpoint source program grants, or other programs that may also impact the Bay.
Congressional delegation requests shown here were agreed upon by many members from the Senate and House representing the Bay states and were reflected in joint letters sent to the chairmen of the appropriate subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee.
Environmental Protection Agency: The administration has sought $16.3 million for the EPA's portion of the Chesapeake Bay Program. This would fund, among other things, the nonpoint source control efforts of the Bay states through the use of matching grants, implementation of the basinwide toxics reduction strategy, and the Patuxent River stormwater runoff demonstration project. In addition, the congressional delegation is seeking $500,000 to enhance the 3-D water quality model of the Bay to include an oil spill and sediment transport component, and $200,000 to cover unfunded Bay Program positions.
Soil Conservation Service: The Department of Agriculture has not historically had a Bay Program line item in its budget — support is budgeted in various other categories and allocated to the program. The congressional delegation is seeking to have the SCS earmark $4.5 million and 62 positions to the Bay Program, which is roughly the same as the Fiscal Year 1991 level of support.
Fish and Wildlife Service: The administration budget does not contain a line-item for the F&WS's Chesapeake Bay Estuarine Program, but last year it got $1.8 million to support its work with submerged aquatic vegetation, public education, and the development of management plans for various Bay species. In addition to that $1.8 million, the congressional delegation is asking for an additional $1.425 million, citing the need for more work on assessing the status of wetlands, fish and waterfowl distribution and abundance; increased research on and monitoring of the effects of toxics, pesticides and nonpoint pollution on living resources; and additional public outreach. The delegation is also seeking $300,000 for the continuation of the Emergency Striped Bass Study.
Forest Service: The Forest Service does not have a Bay Program line item, though it does have a forestry coordinator to work in cooperation with the Bay Program and with state foresters in the Bay States. The congressional delegation is seeking a $3 million appropriation to initiate development and implementation of a comprehensive forest conservation strategy for the Bay.
Army Corps of Engineers: The administration has requested $1.113 million to continue reallocation studies aimed at meeting water needs in the Bay and its tributaries, and $200,000 for the Susquehanna River Basin migratory fish restoration project. In addition, the Congressional delegation is seeking $400,000 to initiate a Chesapeake Bay Basin wetlands restoration and enhancement demonstration program, and $500,000 to enhance the 3-D Bay model to include an oil spill and sediment transport component (this is in addition to the $500,000 sought by the EPA for the same purpose).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: The administration has for several years "zeroed out" funding for NOAA's Chesapeake Bay programs, with some money being restored by Congress. The Congressional delegation is seeking $2 million for NOAA to continue its Bay-related work. This has included monitoring and research affecting stock assessments and the understanding of habitats, living resources and ecological relationships. In addition, the delegation is seeking $3 million for NOAA to continue its research on oyster diseases, which have dramatically reduced oyster populations in the Bay.