FEATURE – NEW USDA EFFORTS TO HELP CHESAPEAKE BAY
INTRO: The U-S Department of Agriculture is partnering with landowners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to show what can be done to prevent runoff. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:33)
IN AN EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHESAPEAKE BAY, THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS PARTNERING WITH LANDOWNERS IN THREE SHOWCASE WATERSHEDS TO REDUCE RUNOFF. SPEAKING IN HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA, DEPUTY SECRETARY KATHLEEN MERRIGAN SAID AGRICULTURE IS A VALUABLE ALLY IN HELPING TO PROTECT THE BAY.
Kathleen Merrigan, USDA Deputy Secretary: Nearly seventy five percent of land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is on private farms and forests. Seventy five percent. We all know that a well-managed farm produces food and fiber for us, helps sustain our economies in rural communities, but it’s so important to our overall environmental health.
THE THREE SHOWCASE WATERSHEDS ARE IN PENNSYLVANIA, MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA. U-S-D-A AND PARTNER GROUPS WANT TO FIND OUT ABOUT LANDOWNERS’ CONSERVATION EFFORTS AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ASSIST THEM.
Eby Patterson, Landowner, Hershey, PA: We’ve always felt a tie to conserving the resources. It’s just at this point that we’ve decided to move ahead and implement a program.
MERRIGAN SAYS KEEPING FARMLAND FROM BEING DEVELOPED WILL HELP KEEP RUNOFF FROM REACHING THE CHESAPEAKE BAY.
Merrigan: Every tract of farm land that is developed in the bay watershed results in lost environmental benefits and poor water quality for the region.Agriculture is not the problem. Agriculture is part of the solution for the Chesapeake Bay.
U-S-D-A USES ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS IN FARM BILL FUNDING TO RESTORE THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND ITS WATERSHED. FOR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, I’M BOB ELLISON.
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