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Hoyer Announces $36.9 Million Federal Investment in Maryland Conservation & Environmental Priorities

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Hoyer Announces $36.9 Million Federal Investment in Maryland Conservation & Environmental Priorities

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) today announced the inclusion of $36.9 million for Maryland conservation and environmental priorities in the FY2008 Interior and the Environment Appropriations bill, which passed the House of Representatives this afternoon. The annual appropriations bill, which funds programs nationwide under the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior, represents a robust investment in America's natural resources and a commitment to maintaining the national park and wildlife refuge systems, ensuring clean air and water, and preserving the nation's historic treasures. The bill also makes climate change research and mitigation a key priority.

"Maryland and the 5th Congressional District are blessed with a number of precious natural resources and historic treasures that I am committed to preserving for future generations of Marylanders," stated Rep. Hoyer. "I am proud to have helped secure this federal funding, which makes sound investments in critical Maryland conservation and environmental priorities."

Chesapeake Bay Programs ($30 Million)
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed continues to face serious environmental challenges. Over the past two decades, federal, state, and local partners have worked together to produce modest restoration gains, but stronger action is required to reduce the region's nutrient and sediment loads to the Bay and restore the health of this magnificent estuary.

"This $30 million in federal funding demonstrates recognition by the Congress of the value in supporting programs that enhance the great national treasure that is the Chesapeake Bay," stated Rep. Hoyer. "This investment will significantly bolster efforts at the national and regional levels to restore this treasure and ultimately improve the quality of life for the 16 million citizens who live in the watershed."

•$22 million for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program to address a variety of restoration and water quality issues and help meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

•$4 million for the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program for grants to organizations working at the local level to protect and improve watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay basin, while building citizen-based resource stewardship.

•$4 million for the Chesapeake Bay Non Point Source Reduction Targeted Watershed Grants Program for projects that expand the collective knowledge on the most innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective strategies - including market-based approaches - for reducing excess nutrient loads within specific tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network ($1.65 Million)
The National Park Service's Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network ties together more than 120 museums, state parks, wildlife refuges, Indian reservations, water trails, and other sites in five states and the District of Columbia, to enable visitors to appreciate the far-reaching role the bay has had in the culture and history of our region. The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network grants have funded new maps, improved signs, and expanded trails that have made visits to parks, wildlife refuges, and water trails more meaningful experiences.

"I have been proud to fight to secure federal funds for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network in each of the years since the program's inception," stated Rep. Hoyer. "With this funding the network can continue its quality work to make the Chesapeake Bay, and the entire region, the treasure that we know it to be today."

Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge ($5 Million)
This funding will support water and sewer infrastructure renovations at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, the nation's first wildlife experimental station and research refuge. Rep. Rep. Hoyer was also instrumental in directing federal funds towards the construction of the National Wildlife Visitor Center and helped secure funding to enable the purchase of 8,000 additional acres for the Refuge.

"Since its establishment, the Patuxent Research Center has grown into a comprehensive wildlife and ecosystem research operation that has rightfully earned international accolade," stated Rep. Hoyer. "The funds are crucial in order to preserve its status as a premier educational wildlife facility and to continue accommodating the center's many visitors."

America's Treasures - Poplar Hill on His Lordship's ($160,000)
Poplar Hill on His Lordship's Kindness was built circa 1785 on land deeded by Charles Calvert, the third Lord Baltimore. The unique structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of two National Historic Landmarks in Prince George's County, Maryland. The funding will be used to restore the roof of the main house and wings.

"More than two centuries of natural weathering has compromised the structural integrity of this national historic landmark," stated Rep. Hoyer. "I am thrilled that this funding has been awarded to aid in the preservation efforts of this grand historic site."

Paint Branch Watershed Storm water Management ($100,000)
Project funding will enable the development of a comprehensive storm water management plan for the Paint Branch and Little Paint Branch Sub-watersheds of the Anacostia Watershed to mitigate the impacts of storm water volume. This funding will be equally matched by each of the following agencies: the University of Maryland, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Anacostia Watershed Society.

"Many waterways are subject to flooding during periods of excessive rainfall," stated Rep. Hoyer. "This funding will address flooding vulnerabilities in these two sub-watersheds and ensure floodwater protection for surrounding communities."

The Interior-Environment Appropriations bill must now be reconciled with the Senate appropriations bill, before returning to the House for a final vote.

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