HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) issued a statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Shannon Gority today, commending Governor Tom Wolf for urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to implement the $737 million Chesapeake Bay Resilient Farms Initiative (CRFI).
The CRFI, which CBF also supports, would “support Pennsylvania farmers in taking a stand against climate change by implementing on-farm efforts for more sustainable agriculture practices that reduce nitrogen output, improve water quality, and effectively decrease negative impacts of climate change on agriculture,” according to a press release from Governor Wolf’s office today.
Ms. Gority said:
“Increased investments in agricultural conservation practices in Pennsylvania are good for farm productivity and mitigating climate change by keeping soil and nitrogen on the land instead of running into local waters.
“As the 2025 deadline to achieve the Clean Water Blueprint looms, this initiative is among several federal and state investment opportunities to get Pennsylvania back on track toward its goals for cleaner local rivers and streams and saving the Bay.
“We urge the Commonwealth to seize opportunities in the proposed Clean Streams Fund (Senate Bill 832), which proposes that $250 million of the $7 billion in American Rescue Plan money Pennsylvania received go into a fund that would establish and support the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP). Senate Bill 465 will create ACAP, essentially an agriculture cost-share program which is an opportunity to fund local farm projects through county conservation districts.
“Farmers have shown they are willing to invest their time, land, limited funds, and effort to clean and protect local rivers and streams and leave a legacy of healthy soils and clean water. But they need greater investments from state and federal sources if they are to expand and finish the job.
“We appreciate Governor Wolf’s support. Clean water is essential to our quality of life, health, and economy.”
–Chesapeake Bay Foundation