Economic talk dominates local Chesapeake Bay panel

WILLIAMSBURG – Viewing the Chesapeake Bay as an economic engine as well as a natural resource was the focus of a local panel Wednesday.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 defunds the Chesapeake Bay.

The League of Women Voters-Williamsburg Area hosted about 25 people at Williamsburg Regional Library Theater in efforts to raise continued support for funding to cleanup the Bay.

State Senator Monty Mason spearheaded talks about economic issues.

“This is a booming economic interest, one that we don’t talk about nearly enough. Every politician you heard talk in the last 10 years has talked about jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Mason. “This is really about the economic engine that is right here and our greatest natural resource.”

Ann Jurczyk from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation added to the environmental second to the economic impacts agenda.

“It’s not just the bay program , there are multiple federal agencies that are being drastically cut that have an impact on whether or not we’re gonna restore the bay ,” said Jurczyk.

Speaker Molly Mitchell from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science spoke on economic impacts on the bay.

“The biggest economic impact we’re looking at is sea level rise,” added Mitchell. “As sea level comes up it not only floods human communities it also changes the distribution of vegetation .”

During the question and answer period ,which were submitted anonymously, not everyone agreed with the environmental second to the economic agenda.

“The question ‘why isn’t environmental not first to economic?’ continue to prove why it’s important to protect our natural resources,” said Mason.

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