The Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force was initiated several years ago, but was re-launched in 2004 with a newly focused mission and role: to build consensus around initiatives that will improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the broader watershed, and enhance the quality of life of the millions of people who live and work in this region.

The Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, currently co-chaired by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Rob Wittman (R-VA), provides a bipartisan forum for policy discussions and joint action related to water quality, conservation, resource management, and recreation issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In addition, the Task Force sets regional policy and funding agendas to implement through the federal legislative process.

The Institute provides research and policy analysis to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force.

Institute accomplishments include:

  • Assisting with the establishment of the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force and aiding in its registration as an official Congressional Member Organization of the U.S. Congress.
  • Convening a Chesapeake Bay Summit in 2004 that included members of Congress; representatives from the EPA, the White House, the states, and regional organizations; and 30 House and Senate staffers. In 2005, the Task Force co-chairs coordinated the annual kick-off Summit with members of the Chesapeake Executive Council.
  • Sponsoring and organizing several Congressional briefings and field trips, including an important summit on flooding in the Mid-Atlantic region in August 2006.
  • Supporting annual House efforts to secure appropriations funding for Chesapeake Bay projects. This effort includes working with other regional and national groups on securing funding for national programs that are key to watershed restoration (e.g., EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, USDA’s Conservation Security Program, and others).
  • Maintaining an updated Web-based annual funding chart that tracks both House and Senate appropriations that is available to Congressional staff and the public.
  • Supporting the annual budget recommendations made by House members to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about the following year’s budget proposal by the president.
  • Organizing several formal efforts by the Task Force to maximize existing funding for Mid-Atlantic watershed efforts (e.g., submitting comments from the Task Force to USDA that propose better utilization of Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds to maximize nutrient reduction efforts; submitting a letter to EPA seeking utilization of Clean Water Act Section 106 funds; and collecting letters to increase funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund).

Co-chairs and Members of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force are:

Bartlett Roscoe R MD
Cantor Eric R VA
Cummings Elijah D MD
Goodlatte Bob R VA
Harris Andy R MD
Hinchey Maurice D NY
Holden Tim D PA
Hoyer Steny D MD
Moran James D VA
Norton Eleanor Holmes D DC
Platts Todd R. R PA
Ruppersberger C.A. Dutch D MD
Sarbanes John D MD
Scott Bobby D VA
Van Hollen Chris D MD
Wittman Robert R VA

Fiscal 2012 Appropriations - Chesapeake Bay Watershed

(S) = Subcommittee | (C) = Full Committee
ProgramFinal FY11

President's Request FY12

HouseSenateFinal FY12
Environmental Protection Agency
Chesapeake Bay Program - Base* $54.4m $67.35m $50m (S)
Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program

$2m (S)
Clean Water SRF $1.525b $1.550b $689m (S)
National Estuary Program $26.75m $27.06m $26.75m (S)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Chesapeake Bay Studies- CB office base budget
Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration
Bay Watershed Ed and Training B-WET
US Geological Survey
Chesapeake Bay Studies- Priority Ecosystem Science

Chesapeake Bay Studies- Geographic Analysis and Monitoring
US Department of Interior
Chesapeake Bay Forestry Stewardship
Land & Water Conservation Fund $301m $900m $61.8m (S)
North American Wetlands Conservation Fund (FWS) $37.4m $50m $20m (S)
Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails (NPS) $1m $.525m(S)
Army Corps of Engineers (Energy & Water Development bill)**
Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery, Virginia and Maryland $5m $4.53m
Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan $.250m $0
Estuary Restoration Program $2m $0
US Department of Agriculture
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative
Financial Services
DC WASA Long Term Control Plan

Bill language of note:

*EPA -- "From within the amount provided, $18,828,000 is for state implementation grants and $9,627,000 is for Chesapeake Bay Operations, both equal to the fiscal year 2010 enacted levels. TMDL development and implementation is funded at $1,000,000, enforcement at $1,017,000, and Chesapeake Stat at $821,000. The bill provides $5,000,000 to partially restore the Administration’s cut in the fiscal year 2011 enacted levels. The bill does not provide the newly requested funding for air deposition activities."

"The bill provides $2,000,000 in small watershed grants, as requested. The Committee recognizes that local governments utilize other programs to assist with the cleanup of the Bay and directs the Agency, from within the small watershed grant amount, to support a competitive grant to conduct a survey of local government policies and programs used to control polluted runoff from urban, suburban and agricultural lands within the Bay’s four largest watersheds to provide all parties with information on the full scope of cleanup activities. The Agency should make the results of these surveys public to assist local government decision-makers with information on successful practices already in place, best management practices aimed at improving water quality, better implementation of existing policies, and road maps to help counties and municipalities decide how best to reduce pollution."

"The Committee supports the President’s budget proposal to conduct an in-depth analysis of the extent and sources of endocrine-disrupting chemicals impacting fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake basin."

**USACE --

The budget request for Investigations and the approved Committee allowance (i.e. specific projects by state) are shown on the table beginning on page 20 of the bill report.  The budget request for Construction and the approved Committee allowance are shown on the table beginning on page 26.  The budget request for Operations and Maintenance, and the approved Committee allowance are shown on the table beginning on page 36.

Congressionally Directed Spending - FY11 Appropriations

Earmarks are banned in FY12 appropriations.  Earmarks for the mid-Atlantic in various FY11 appropriations bills can be found in the following tables. These will be updated as the appropriations process progresses.

Energy and Water Development Appropriations (House Subcommittee and Senate full Committee)
Interior and Environment Appropriations (House Subcommittee)

Activities in the 110th Congress

Appropriations Letters

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force's appropriations requests for Fiscal Year 2009
(all subcommittee requests are in the document below)


Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force's appropriations requests for Fiscal Year 2008
(by subcommittee)

Interior Letter
Energy and Water Letter
Commerce, Justice, Science Letter
Agriculture Letter

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force's appropriations requests for Fiscal Year 2007

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force's appropriations letter for Fiscal Year 2007

Budget Letters

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force's request to OMB for the President's Fiscal Year 2009 budget
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force's request to OMB for the President's Fiscal Year 2008 budget