On Thursday, they got a reality check in the form of a giant zero.
"To be absolutely frank, we are in disbelief,"
Dozens of environmental groups throughout the mid-
Some of the deepest reductions would be at the
Environmental initiatives at other agencies, including the Agriculture, Commerce and Interior departments, would be sliced. Monitoring of sea level rise, a major concern in
Administration officials defended the budget proposal, saying it addresses Americans' concerns about a government that has grown too large, inefficient and intrusive.
Baker argued, however, that the
He called federal funding the "linchpin to all of the state and local efforts" and said it has acted as "an accelerator to other funds for saving the bay and improving the water quality in the rivers and streams that feed it."
Boesch, president of the
About two-thirds of the
In January, the foundation gave the bay its highest grade so far -- a C-minus -- in a scorecard it has been issuing since 1998. Improvements in conditions for blue crabs were a major reason for the change. Baker said further progress would be precarious, however, if federal oversight wanes.
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