Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feds to Chesapeake: Drop Dead!

Only recently the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual report showed the health of the bay getting worse, not better.

Water quality is down, crabs are down, oysters are almost gone. It has been all but acknowledged that local states will fail to reach their goal of cleaning up the Cheseapake by 2010.

But the federal government will certainly be spending more to help the bay along, right?

Think again. The federal budget president George Bush signed into law this week includes cuts in critical programs aimed at reducing the flow of sewage into the bay. Specifically, a federal program that provides loans to local communities to upgrade their sewage treatment plants took a $395 million hit, $44 million of that from states in the Chesapeake watershed.

A program aimed at curbing farm runoff into the bay was cut $1.7 million, and research and restoration programs operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were reduced by $3.8 million.

Meanwhile, the money is still flowing to crop subsidies and ethanol, guaranteeing worse times ahead for the Chesapeake.

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