Representatives' letter asks president for $1 billion to help clean up the bay

December 01, 2004|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

Seventeen Congressional representatives have signed a letter to President George W. Bush asking for $1 billion in federal aid to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

The letter, which Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes released this week, also asks the administration to call the bay "a top environmental priority."

"The future of our national treasure hangs in balance," wrote the 17 federal legislators from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

The request marks the second time members of Congress have asked the president for $1 billion in bay funding. A slightly different bipartisan group wrote the president last year but has not heard back.

Sarbanes' press secretary Jesse Jacobs estimated the bay usually gets about $200 million in federal funds. Jacobs said the legislators would like to see a federal investment in the bay that is akin to the federal investment in restoring the Florida Everglades. The most recent $1 billion request was sent just before Thanksgiving.

In its annual State of the Bay report this week, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation gave the bay's health a D grade with a score of 27 out of 100.

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