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Senator Van Hollen & Congressman Sarbanes Introduce Laws to Set up the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space


Staff member
Mar 22, 2024
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Picture Credit score: David Websites

Washington, DC – In the present day, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes launched the Chesapeake National Recreation Area Act (S.2620 and HR 5045), which, if handed into regulation, would create the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space (CNRA). The CNRA can be a land-based, 21st-century park, uniting new and current Nationwide Park Service (NPS) websites and trails, in addition to accomplice parks, to extend public entry to the Chesapeake Bay and create a nationwide park-worthy customer expertise for all to take pleasure in. Co-sponsors embody Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine (each D-Va.) and U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-Va.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Glenn Ivey (D-Md.), Jennifer McClellan (D-Va.), Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), David Trone (D-Md.), and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

One yr in the past, a July 2022 public opinion ballot confirmed profound help for Nationwide Park Service standing for the Chesapeake, with 83% of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC respondents in favor of creating a Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space. A congressional working group was formed in June 2022, and draft legislation was shared in November 2022. A whole lot of public feedback have been submitted.

Representatives of United4CNRA, a coalition of organizations and folks advocating for the CNRA, issued the next statements celebrating this important step towards establishing the CNRA:

“Latino Outdoor wholeheartedly endorses Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes’ imaginative and prescient for the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space. It’s a imaginative and prescient that has been thoughtfully crafted by a broad vary of stakeholders, and it facilities the safety of numerous landscapes, elevated numerous public entry, and the celebration of cultural variety. We applaud the efforts of Senator Van Hollen, Congressman Sarbanes, and all the CNRA working group. We see their actions as an affirmation of the significance of variety, not for variety’s sake, however somewhat for its potential to be a catalyst for a thriving and sustainable regional financial system, neighborhood, and leisure asset. Latino Outdoors Govt Director Luis Villa

“Thanks, Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Sarbanes, for making a greater than 30-year-long dream come true. The Chesapeake Bay is as spectacular as Yellowstone or Yosemite, as nice because the Nice Smokies and as grand because the Grand Tetons. Establishing the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space expands sources for environmental safety and makes it clear that america cherishes the Chesapeake, the birthplace of American identification. As an amazing present to future generations, this laws ensures everybody’s proper to go to and recreate on our nation’s largest estuary whereas balancing the wants of those that stay right here and rely upon the bay for his or her livelihood.” – Chesapeake Conservancy President & CEO Joel Dunn

“We admire the numerous years of onerous work that Senator Chris Van Hollen, Consultant John Sarbanes and the Chesapeake working group have devoted to charting a path ahead for the Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space.

“There is just one Chesapeake Bay, and everybody deserves an opportunity to expertise its wonders. Working collectively to create a Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space would develop public entry to the biggest estuary on the planet, convey financial development to close by communities, and assist the Nationwide Park Service, native Tribes, and Chesapeake watermen interpret 1000’s of years of impactful historical past. Introducing laws is the subsequent step to make the dream of this park a actuality.” – National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) President & CEO Theresa Pierno

“The Chesapeake Bay has nourished Indigenous folks each bodily and spiritually for greater than 10,000 years. The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space would assist educate our younger folks concerning the long-standing connection between the Chesapeake Bay and American Indians and be certain that the bay’s crops and animals, that are so important to the sustaining energy of life for everybody, are protected whereas getting ready our subsequent technology of leaders for the longer term.” Rappahannock Tribe Chief Anne Richardson

“The Nationwide Park Service serves as one in every of our nation’s foremost storytellers and steward of our wealthy and numerous pure and cultural heritage. The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space would enable all the American folks and our worldwide guests to study our nation’s historical past and the way the Chesapeake Bay has been the panorama of Indigenous historical past, European exploration, colonialism, independence, slavery and freedom.”former Nationwide Park Service Director “Bob” Robert Stanton (retired)


The Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space Act would designate a set of recent and current parks and public lands alongside the Chesapeake Bay as the brand new Chesapeake Nationwide Recreation Space (CNRA). Locations that spotlight the bay throughout Maryland and Virginia, comparable to state and native parks and wildlife refuges, might change into a part of the CNRA and profit from the sources of the Nationwide Park Service to assist enhance the customer expertise, enhance public entry to the bay, shield the pure setting and inform an fascinating story about our area. The CNRA will elevate the visibility of the Chesapeake Bay as an necessary useful resource, encourage upcoming generations to guard the bay, create sustainable jobs, improve non-public funding within the bay area, add new websites to entry the bay, hyperlink all of the park websites across the bay with a typical customer expertise and invite folks to discover. www.united4cnra.org
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