Clean water and oyster programs get funding boost from Richmond

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — At a time when federal funding from the EPA is uncertain, state lawmakers just approved funding to keep the Chesapeake Bay and our local rivers clean.

Last week in our special report Budget Battle on the Bay, we told you about the uncertainty of federal funding for local nonprofits that take care of local waters. 

The Virginia General Assembly approved a funding increase Thursday for programs that prevent runoff and pollution, and replenish the oyster population.

Oyster replenishment and restoration programs will get $2.75 million next year, and $3 million the year after. Current funding was running at $2 million annually.

Hampton Roads Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Christy Everett says with federal funds uncertain at this point, every dollar helps. She says clean water in the Bay and local rivers deserves bi-partisan support.

“All parties can come together and say we do need to continue to invest, and do our part to make sure that our pollution prevention programs stay in place.”

Saturday is the Foundation’s 30th annual Clean up the Bay program. The event already has more than 5,000 people signed up, but is accepting more volunteers at certain locations.

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