Trout Unlimited Supports the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act

For Immediate Release

Contact: Steve Moyer, Vice President of Government Affairs (703) 284-9406;

Trout Unlimited Supports the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act

Bill provides tools, targets for restoration efforts

ARLINGTON, VA.–Trout Unlimited applauds senators Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) for introducing the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009.

If enacted, this legislation would amend the Clean Water Act to reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Program, set enforceable cleanup goals for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, enhance efforts to reduce non-point source pollution, set up a regional cap-and-trade program for nitrogen and phosphorous, and authorize important grant programs that support collaborative habitat restoration efforts.

Many of the pollutants that plague the Chesapeake Bay flow downstream from headwater areas, where they affect brook trout and other aquatic life, said Trout Unlimiteds Vice President for Government Affairs, Steve Moyer. This legislation will help Trout Unlimited work with partners to restore habitat and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay headwaters of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. What is good for brook trout in the mountains is good for the crabs in the bay.

A healthy Chesapeake Bay relies on clean headwater streams and the protection and restoration of headwater areas provides quality trout habitat as well as a steady supply of clean water to the Bay.

The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to set nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay, and require each of the six states within the Bay watershed and the District of Columbia to develop implementation plans with concrete benchmarks for measuring progress toward pollution reduction goals. The state implementation plans will include targets for non-point sources of nutrient and sediment pollution.

The bill also calls for the creation of a Bay-wide nitrogen and phosphorous trading program. Such a program can help to achieve cost-effective pollution reduction, and create momentum for restoration projects by providing incentives and rewards for agricultural landowners who reduce nutrient input from farm runoff.

Trout Unlimited has more than 10,000 members living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and a long history of grassroots habitat restoration work in the Bays headwater streams.

In Pennsylvania, Trout Unlimited is working to restore rivers and streams of the West Branch Susquehanna watershed impacted by abandoned coal mines, and in Virginia and West Virginia Trout Unlimited is working cooperatively with agricultural landowners to restore streams in the Shenandoah and Potomac watersheds.

TU looks forward to its continued partnership with state and federal agencies and private landowners to improve trout habitat and accomplish Chesapeake Bay restoration goals.