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Satellite (Landsat) picture of Chesapeake Bay (center) and Delaware Bay (upper right) - and Atlantic coast of the central-eastern United States.

MD - Chesapeake Bay restoration: Find out how much is being sought in big funding boost

More than $90 million for Chesapeake Bay conservation, and $440 million in clean water grants is what eight U.S. senators are requesting amid decreased crab populations.

In a May 6 letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, nine programs aimed at bay conservation and clean water initiatives were outlined as targets for increased funding.

Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD), Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) signed the letter asking for the Environmental Protection Agency funding.

"Our states are heavily invested in implementing a Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint designed to restore this national treasure. Continued federal partnership to support this complex, regional effort is key to their success," the letter stated.

As the states participating in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, the goal is to advance the restoration and protection of the bay watershed through improvements to water quality, marine life abundance, expansion of conservation land, and enacting climate change solutions.

The requested funding would come during federal Fiscal Year 2023 if it is approved.

The original 1983 agreement signed by Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania was limited as it was entirely voluntary with the Chesapeake Bay Program also coming in the same year after a congressional act reinforced the conservation agreement.

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"Under the Agreement, the jurisdictions and federal agencies have voluntarily committed to work together to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025," the letter said. "We must maintain federal investment in the programs below to support state-led efforts and ensure their continued success."

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