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Van Hollen, Sarbanes Announce Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space Working Group Ideas to Information Laws

June 14, 2022

Members are spearheading an effort to create a Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space to profit & spotlight the Bay Watershed

Immediately, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes (each D-Md.) introduced the discharge of key rules guiding their work to create a unified Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space (CNRA), developed together with the working group the lawmakers have convened. The working group, which is comprised of federal and state lawmakers and over 30 regional stakeholder organizations, will proceed to collaborate over the approaching months to launch a draft invoice for public remark aligned with these rules.

Regardless of its ecological significance, iconic panorama, wealthy tradition and historical past, and huge leisure advantages, the Chesapeake Bay area doesn’t have a unified Nationwide Park System designation. A unified designation will present a chance to assist preserve the Bay, enhance public entry to it, ship extra federal assets to the area, and spur financial progress and prosperity throughout the watershed. Because the rules clearly lay out, the Recreation Space can be made up of hubs and partner-sites of regional significance – contributed on a voluntary foundation. They won’t impose any extra rules on leisure or enterprise actions within the Chesapeake Bay waters, and the Nationwide Park Service’s authority won’t supersede state authority on these issues. Moreover, creation of the CNRA will rely closely on public participation and the enter of stakeholders to create a tradition of stewardship and improve environmentally acutely aware tourism within the Bay area. 

“Marylanders know the Chesapeake Bay is a nationwide treasure, and making a Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will assist additional highlight that reality – bringing nationwide recognition and better alternatives to our area. These rules put ahead by our working group are an vital step in our drafting of this laws, they usually lay our underlying objectives and goals for this undertaking,” mentioned Senator Van Hollen. “Within the coming months, we’ll proceed to construct on this basis working collectively to draft laws for public evaluation that may finally obtain our objectives of unlocking extra restoration assets, producing sustainable financial alternative, rising Bay tourism, and bettering equitable entry to the Bay. We nonetheless have extra onerous work in entrance of us, however I’m grateful for the efforts of our working group thus far and stay up for transferring full steam forward.” 

“Pursuing the creation of the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space has been a protracted endeavor with in depth neighborhood engagement and transparency. In collaboration with the stakeholders within the working group, Senator Van Hollen and I’ve recognized a set of rules that may create a CNRA devoted to the Chesapeake Bay’s wealthy historical past and ecological significance that’s accessible to the neighborhood and celebrates this beloved nationwide treasure. We’re happy to launch these rules immediately as an replace on the nice progress we’ve made and a promise to see this course of via to the betterment of the whole Chesapeake Bay area,” mentioned Congressman Sarbanes.

Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space Guiding Ideas

The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space

Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes have convened a working group to contemplate laws that may designate a unified Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space. This enterprise has the potential to offer ecological, cultural, and financial advantages to the area. The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space would make the most of a group of partnerships with states, localities, and personal entities meant to focus on the varied panorama and nationwide significance of the Chesapeake Bay. Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Sarbanes will draft laws creating the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space in alignment with the next rules: 

1. Nationwide Significance of Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is a nationwide treasure and the most important estuary within the nation – with its watershed protecting over 64,000 sq. miles. Laws making a Nationwide Recreation Space will spotlight the ecological significance, iconic panorama, wealthy tradition and historical past, and huge leisure advantages of the area. The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will create a significant new draw for guests to the area and make substantial contributions to the area’s economic system.

2. Land-based Proposal

The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space can be a land-based proposal. Whereas the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will vastly improve recreation and companies based mostly within the Chesapeake Bay area, it won’t impose any extra rules on leisure or enterprise actions within the Chesapeake Bay waters, nor will the Nationwide Park Service authority supersede state authority on these issues.

3. Respect Land Rights

Slightly than a single place, the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will construct on the success of the Nationwide Park Service Chesapeake Gateways and Watertrails Program and elevate key, discrete websites across the Bay whereas linking them collectively below the coordinated model of the Park Service. The nationwide recreation space mannequin permits for voluntary “opt-in” partnerships with state parks and different present public lands that may characterize the total Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space. As well as, the Nationwide Park Service can be licensed to amass, via buy or via donation from voluntary house owners, parcels that may improve public entry to the Chesapeake Bay. There can be no extra rules governing non-participating non-public or public landowners.

4. Public Engagement

The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will inform a standard narrative concerning the nation’s largest estuary and one of many world’s largest environmental restoration efforts, together with the individuals who have contributed to its vibrant panorama. Consistent with the cooperative imaginative and prescient of the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space, the laws can be launched for public remark in order that it displays the concepts and suggestions from neighborhood members and organizations that can be impacted by the proposal. The laws will create an Advisory Fee to permit for continued public enter. 

5. Alignment with Targets of the Chesapeake Bay Settlement

The Chesapeake Bay is the main target of one of many largest environmental restoration efforts on this planet. The laws for the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will even align with the objectives of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Settlement, together with selling a wholesome ecosystem and habitat, conserving and defending lands, bolstering environmental stewardship and literacy, and incorporating local weather resiliency. 

6. Variety, Fairness, and Inclusion

The Chesapeake Bay watershed can also be residence to quite a few cultural heritage websites that inform the story of our nation’s inception. The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will spotlight the tales that always go untold – these of Indigenous peoples, free and enslaved Blacks, and watermen and ladies who’ve all performed an important function within the financial success and well being of the Bay area. Whereas there’s definitely a various cultural historical past of the Bay, many city and rural residents, underinvested communities, and communities of coloration lack entry to the Bay immediately. That’s why the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will even prioritize increasing entry and engagement for all locals and guests to the watershed.

7. Rising Public Entry

The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will deal with offering high-quality close-to-home outside alternatives within the Bay. The Advisory Council will have interaction and empower native management, Tribal and Indigenous teams, and different stakeholders, working collaboratively to create an area that eliminates transportation, language, and mobility limitations, and contains options that meet the wants of the neighborhood for the aim of making a secure and welcoming pure setting for all to get pleasure from. 

8. Rising Tourism within the Bay Watershed

The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will elevate the Chesapeake Bay by bringing extra native, nationwide, and worldwide recognition creating a significant new draw for guests to the area and making substantial contributions to the area’s economic system. The environmentally acutely aware tourism sparked by the recreation space will assist distributors within the meals, lodging, outside recreation, and journey companies.

9. Making a Tradition of Stewardship

By inviting guests to expertise and have interaction with ongoing conservation efforts in and across the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will construct upon the Nationwide Park Service’s legacy of preservation, conservation, and stewardship to guard the pure assets of the Chesapeake Bay and educate the subsequent technology of stewards within the course of. The well being of the Chesapeake Bay depends on the accountable administration from all who reside within the watershed, and the stewardship of our upland and downstream communities is important to sustaining a wonderful Bay. Moreover, the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space will spotlight and create a pathway to inexperienced careers utilizing the partnerships between NPS, state and native governments, nonprofit organizations, and personal stakeholders. These partnerships will present entry to data and assets for guests looking for to pursue careers in public land conservation, tourism, the Bay economic system, watermen and fishing communities, conventional and grassroots environmental organizations, and extra.

10. Citizen Advisory Fee

The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space laws will create a Citizen Advisory Fee in an effort to guarantee enough neighborhood engagement within the growth and implementation of the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space administration plan. The Advisory Fee will consist of 4 representatives every from Maryland and Virginia with information of environmental, leisure, environmental justice, cultural or historic assets, training, or interpretation; one consultant every from Maryland and Virginia with information of the agricultural pursuits of the Bay; one consultant every from Maryland and Virginia with information of the industrial fishing pursuits of the Bay; one youth consultant every from Maryland and Virginia; two Tribal representatives from state and federally acknowledged Tribes which might be historically related to the Chesapeake Bay; one consultant every chosen by the Governors of Maryland and Virginia; and the Government Director of the Chesapeake Bay Fee. 

Members of the working group are: Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), and Elaine Luria (D-Va.); the State of Maryland; the Commonwealth of Virginia; Chesapeake Conservancy; the Chesapeake Bay Fee; the Nationwide Parks Conservation Affiliation; Select Clear Water Coalition; the Conservation Fund; the Chesapeake Bay Basis; Maryland League of Conservation Voters; Nature Conservancy; Potomac Conservancy; REI; the Nationwide Belief for Historic Preservation; the American Sportfishing Affiliation; the Nationwide Marine Manufacturing Affiliation; the Watermen of Maryland; the Sport Fishing Fee; Historic Annapolis; Oyster Restoration Partnership; Blue Oyster Environmental LLC; Preservation Virginia; Shellfish Growers of Virginia; the James River Affiliation; Virginia Interfaith Energy & Gentle; Marine Trades Affiliation of Maryland; the Audubon Naturalist Society; Dwelling Lecture rooms; the Hispanic Entry Basis; Latino Open air; Southeast Rural Neighborhood Help Undertaking (SERCAP); Chispa Maryland; Baltimore Tree Belief; Blacks of the Chesapeake Basis, Clear Chesapeake Coalition, Verna Harrison Associates, Maryland Division of Pure Assets Sport Fisheries Advisory Fee; the Nationwide Aquarium; Morgan State College Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Analysis Laboratory; and The Wilderness Society.

 

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