Prior to my election to Congress, I spent more than two decades as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I am committed to the principle that our country's environment should be safeguarded for future generations. As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, I am working to preserve and protect the environment in a wise and effective manner.
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay
Since being elected to Congress, I have worked tirelessly to enact legislation to provide efficiency and accountability in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. My Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act was signed into law in December of 2014, and I am continuing to work to ensure the bill is implemented effectively. This law will increase coordination and transparency within Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, in addition to reducing duplication of federal and state efforts.
I am also fighting for continued funding and support for the Chesapeake Bay Clean-Up Effort during the current FY18 budget and appropriations cycle.
I support reauthorizing funding for the popular North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for five years until 2022. NAWCA is a unique, voluntary-based competitive matching grant program that leverages non-federal to federal funds in excess of a 2:1 ratio, to protect, restore, and manage wet-lands and associated habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife. NAWCA has con-served over 33.4 million acres and creates an average of 7,500 new jobs annually.
Water Quality and Water Supply Research
As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, I work closely with my col-leagues across the nation to address water quality and scarcity issues.
I am a strong supporter of the Water Resources Research Amendments Act, H.R. 1663, which extends a federal-state partnership aimed at addressing state and regional water problems, promoting distribution and application of research results, and providing train-ing and practical experience for water-related scientists and engineers. This grant match-ing program has been instrumental in efforts across the Mid-Atlantic states and in the Commonwealth to keep the Chesapeake Bay and our other water resources clean. Its localized approach has resulted in the development of urban storm water treatment and improved roadway design to address specific water quality and scarcity issues in the Bay and across the United States.