The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, and a defining feature of the 6th District. Restoring it is key to ensuring that future generations will be able to use and enjoy its resources. As your Senator, I have worked hard to improve water quality and resource management in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2008, I supported efforts to begin rebuilding our blue crab populations, and in 2009, I worked with Governor Tim Kaine to ensure that non-native oysters would not be introduced into the Bay. More recently, I co-sponsored legislation to ban phosphorous, a key nutrient pollutant, from most lawn fertilizers sold in Virginia.
I believe strongly that it is both possible and necessary to achieve economic development that retains and improves the quality of our air, water, and land. As your state Senator, I have supported efforts to promote alternative energy solutions such as wind, solar, and biodiesel, worked to promote low impact development and improvements to wastewater treatment plants, and searched for ways to make agriculture more sustainable.
I flatly reject the idea that environmental regulations harm our economy. One needs to look no farther than the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to see how damaging a lack oversight and safeguards can be to the natural resources and environmental treasures that support our marine resource and tourism industries. The new energy economy has unlimited potential to create well-paying jobs for Virginians, and a clean environment and healthy natural resource base has major benefits in terms of economic development, public health, and the prosperity of future generations.