March 16, 2017

Bill Street
Chief Executive Officer
(804) 788-8811

James River Association reacts to proposed elimination of Chesapeake Bay Program funding

This morning, the President released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. We are extremely alarmed that the proposal completely eliminates funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The Chesapeake Bay Program is the driver of our river and bay restoration programs in Virginia and is recognized as one of the most significant ecosystem restoration programs in the world. This funding cut will halt critical restoration efforts that have been underway for decades and have a history of bipartisan support.

The Chesapeake Bay Program is a cooperative effort of federal, state and local governments as well as local partners. Together, these groups have brought local rivers and streams back to life, including the improvement of the James River to a B- grade on the latest State of the James report. These cuts threaten to undermine to progress we have made and would allow the health of the James River to degrade again. Our cleanup efforts are paying off and we cannot stop.

On the ground projects that engage communities, such as our Walkable Watershed work in Lynchburg, Petersburg and Charlottesville neighborhoods, would not be possible without the Chesapeake Bay Program. Similarly, our work with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to help farmers install stream protection practices is made possible by the Program. Efforts to monitor our waters and target and refine the cleanup plans would also be eliminated by these cuts.

Congress has the final say in shaping the budget and it is critical that our congressional representatives maintain essential funding for the Chesapeake Bay program.  The James River Association will work with local, state and federal partners as well as our elected representatives to ensure that this funding is restored in the final Fiscal Year 2018 budget.  We encourage all citizens to let their Senators and Representative know how important clean water and a healthy James River are and to urge them to restore funding to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Please make sure you are signed up for the James River Association’s Action Network so you can help us in this fight to reinstate funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. We will need your help in the coming months.


The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works through its core programs – Education, Community Conservation, Watershed Restoration, River Advocacy and the Riverkeeper Program – to help people of all ages enjoy, appreciate and protect the beauty and health of the James River for future generations to enjoy. For more information visit