WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced the Senate passage of their bipartisan provision to provide more resources to Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts. Their provision, originally introduced as the Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (Chesapeake WILD) Act, creates a new $15 million grant program within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support habitat restoration in the Bay region. Their proposal was included within the larger America’s Conservation Enhancement Act and will now proceed to consideration in the House of Representatives.

“The Chesapeake WILD Act establishes the first federal wildlife conservation grants tailored to benefitting species in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” Senator Capito said. “This important Fish and Wildlife Service program will protect vital ecosystems, while also advancing our outdoor industry by supporting populations of birds, fish, and mammals prized by our outdoorsmen, sportsmen, and fishermen.”

“Protecting the Bay wildlife is crucial to Maryland’s environment and economy. This new program will provide direct resources for our partners to undertake critical conservation efforts and will create a vital link between our local stakeholders and the Fish and Wildlife Service. I was proud to introduce this bipartisan bill and fight for its inclusion in this package. I will continue working on all fronts to support and protect the Chesapeake Bay,” Senator Van Hollen said.

Following its introduction—at the urging of Senators Capito and Van Hollen—the Chesapeake WILD Act was incorporated into the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s America’s Conservation Enhancement Act. The Senators—who are both members of the committee—fought to authorize the program at $15 million.

Click here for text of the original legislation.

Click here for a fact sheet on the bill. 

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