Long-standing efforts by farmers and others to clean up the
The Trump administration is seeking steep cuts to the
If such a cut holds - it's still early in the budget process and
Farm runoff is often cited as the main source of pollution entering the nation's largest estuary.
However, a scaling back of the state-federal cleanup, first mandated in 2002, could remove the target on the backs of local farmers who are increasingly under pressure to reduce runoff of soil, manure and commercial fertilizers.
The cutbacks come at a time when definable progress is being made in pollution reductions and the bay's health.
Relief or 'excessive' cut?
"We are not commenting at this point in the process,"
But many others are.
"If that were to happen, that would essentially kill the effort," said
"Their blaming of farmers predominantly for the bay is false. Farmers have been very, very responsible in responding to all of the regulations that have come down from
"If this will relieve us of regulations when we are all responsibly farming, then I'd say we welcome it."
"There are some things I don't agree with with the
But, if federal funding goes away, "it will make future funding really tough," said
"There may still be
"We have seen the beginning of restoration. I had hoped we would make it through to the point where the streams were clean," State Rep.
Cleanup helps local streams
But he suggested
"It's not a hammer held over farmers' heads to use best-management practices - it's farmers wanting to use them," he said. "It's in our own best interests, and it's in the best interest of society."
But the grassroots
Even without the federal aid, experts say,
"The bay states,