On the 39th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, I spent time meeting with groups on the front lines of restoring the Chesapeake Bay. They are making heroic efforts in the face of an all-out assault on the environment by the Republican leadership's policies in Congress.
This assault starts from the faulty premise that protecting the environment hurts jobs. In Maryland, we know that the two go together. Protecting the Bay creates jobs because the Bay is a $1 trillion economic engine for fishing, tourism, property values, and shipping activities. In Maryland and Virginia, the commercial seafood industry alone contributed more than 41,000 local jobs in 2008.
Jobs are also created when we make investments in the infrastructure that is needed to protect the Bay. For every $1 of water and sewer infrastructure investment, our economy grows by $6.35. Adding a job in this arena creates an additional 3.68 jobs to support it. During 2010, it is estimated that restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, and Everglades contributed $427 million in economic output and supported more than 3,200 jobs.
The bottom line is that an attack on the Chesapeake Bay is an attack on Maryland’s economy. Furthermore, efforts to dismantle the framework of regulations that protect clean air and clean water put the health of our families and communities at risk.
I want to take this opportunity to share with you the work I am doing in Congress to protect the Chesapeake Bay and to announce my new twitter feed focused on environmental issues: @Sarbanes4theBay. Follow me to get environmental updates, and to learn more about the work I’ve been doing to protect and preserve the Bay, click here. I am committed to fighting back against any and all assaults on this resource that is considered a national treasure.
Congressman John P. Sarbanes
Maryland's Third Congressional District
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
 Krop, R.A., C. Hernick, and C. Frantz. 2008. Local Government Investment in Water and Sewer Infrastructure: Adding Value to the National Economy. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayors WaterCouncil