WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved legislation for the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster restoration funding.

“A thriving oyster population is crucial to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and in turn, to the health of Maryland’s Bay economy,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees. “These funds will ultimately support critical efforts to sustain our oyster population and preserve the Bay. I will keep working in Congress to fight for the investments necessary to protect the Bay, its wildlife, and the businesses Marylanders have built around it.”

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Officials said the funding will aim toward rebuilding a healthy oyster population in Maryland.

$800K Grant Awarded Toward Oyster Habitat Restoration In The Chesapeake Bay

Included within the legislation were provisions to provide $20 million to the Army Corps of Engineers for multistate ecosystem restoration programs for projects involving oysters in the Bay, provide an additional $70 million to the Army Corps Work Plan for project construction.

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This is an increase of $20 million from FY 2019, and an increase of $70 million from the President’s Budget, which provided zero funds.

“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation thanks Senator Van Hollen for his hard work to secure federal funding for oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay. The ongoing work to restore oysters in ten Bay tributaries is already paying off with success stories such as Harris Creek in Maryland and the Lynnhaven River in Virginia. The oyster reefs built there are providing habitat for fish and crabs and beginning to show needed water quality benefits. The restoration work plays an important role in efforts to save the Bay. We look forward to working with Senator Van Hollen, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and the members of the Bay Senate and House delegations who have been so supportive, to ensure that oyster restoration work is a priority going forward in spending bills,” said Alison Prost, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Maryland Executive Director.

This legislation will move to the floor of the Senate for a vote before the full chamber.

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Written By WJZ Apprentice Ju’waun Morgan