|July 20, 2011: Wittman Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Legislation Clears House Committee|
WASHINGTON, DC – Legislation to improve efficiency with federal resources to clean-up the Chesapeake Bay authored by Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) today received approval from the House Committee on Natural Resources, clearing the way for the bill’s consideration by the U.S. House. The Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act (H.R. 258), proposes to fundamentally alter the management of Chesapeake Bay restoration activities.
Wittman lauded passage of his legislation though committee
"As we look for ways to make government more efficient with its resources, this legislation helps aid clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay while bringing accountability to the dollars focused towards restoration,” Wittman said. “With over 30 years working firsthand on the waters of the Bay, one of my highest priorities is to achieve restoration of this historic body of water. The Bay is an important economic driver and job-creator for not only Virginians, but the entire watershed around the Chesapeake. We must do more with less; this bill brings accountability as the government utilizes taxpayer dollars to restore this treasure.”
Wittman's legislation would fully implement two cutting-edge management techniques, crosscut budgeting and adaptive management to enhance coordination, flexibility and efficiency of restoration efforts. These techniques have been used successfully in the Everglades and the Great Lakes; however, they have not been fully implemented in Bay restoration efforts, where results have lagged far behind the billions of dollars spent. Additionally, the legislation would create a Chesapeake Bay Program Independent Evaluator to review and report to Congress on restoration activities in the watershed. The Chesapeake Bay partnership includes 10 federal agencies, six states and the District of Columbia, over one thousand localities and multiple non-governmental organizations. To date, the complexity of the participants has resulted in a muddled effort. In drafting this legislation, Congressman Wittman drew heavily on his 26 years of experience as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Wittman’s legislation has received endorsements from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Virginia Seafood Council.
In May, Wittman co-founded the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, which brings together members from the Chesapeake Bay watershed region to discuss issues related to the Bay and Bay clean-up.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia and serves on the House Natural Resources Committee.
January 20, 2011: Wittman Introduces Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Legislation