By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget is set to wipe out funding for the Chesapeake Bay if a new plan is not passed in time.

WJZ‘s Tracey Leong met with congressional leaders and local representatives in D.C. about their efforts to get the decision reversed.

This is the first time since the Clean Water Coalition was created, that it has been recommended to completely eliminate funding, which could dry up vital programs.

The fight to save the Chesapeake Bay brought local, state and national advocates to D.C.

“We are standing firm for $73 million for the Chesapeake Bay and asking Congress to step up to the plate,” said Karla Raettig of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

President Trump’s proposed budget would completely shut down $73 million in funding for the Chesapeake Bay program. Of that about $46 million directly benefits the six states impacted by the watershed, including nearly $11 million for Maryland.

“What really concerns a lot of us now is the president’s new budget is not putting any money in the Chesapeake Bay, all that we have done, all these years, and we are getting somewhere,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger of the 2nd district in Maryland.

Members of the House, both Democrat and Republican, are requesting full funding for the Chesapeake Bay program, to protect more than 100,000 rivers and streams in the region.

That provides clean drinking water to more than 17 million residents flowing from New York to Virginia.

“Thinking about tomorrow’s children and poor, that’s who we are fighting for because this is not going to solve itself anytime soon, but the damage done today could have long term effects,” said Jodi Rose of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.

Support for the Chesapeake Bay has historically come from both sides of the aisle and advocates vow to keep fighting until a budget is secured.

The Clean Water Coalition was created in 2009.

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