Pingree Announces More Than $900,000 in Infrastructure Funds to Restore, Maintain Casco Bay Estuary
Washington, October 21, 2022
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced more than $900,000 in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding to conserve the Casco Bay Estuary. The funds, awarded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the University of Southern Maine through the University of Maine System, will support the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership’s (CBEP) Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which aims to restore and maintain the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the estuary and support its sustainable human uses
“As a key ecological habitat and hub of economic activity, Casco Bay is one of the most important bodies of water in Maine. But climate change is already rapidly changing its waters. The Casco Bay Estuary Partnership’s multi-year plan is working to preserve the health of the waters that power it so it can continue to be a resource for 30,000 Mainers who make their living from marine-related industries,” said Pingree. “I’m thrilled funding provided through the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is supporting this critical project that’s so important for Maine’s future.”
“We are excited to receive this new funding. It will give the Estuary Partnership the chance to greatly expand our work with communities to prepare for climate change. In particular, it will be able to partner with towns throughout the Casco Bay region to plan for the future, protect infrastructure, conserve habitat, and enhance the resilience of aquatic ecosystems, including our rivers and streams, salt marshes and bays,” said Curtis Bohlen, Director, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership.
CBEP has designed eight programs that provide structure for the five-to-seven-year spending plan for IIJA funding, which address long-standing and emerging needs for the management of Casco Bay. These programs support habitat restoration, resilience, and conservation; enhance monitoring and science to guide future management; and assist communities addressing climate resilience and water needs.
Pingree, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment, which oversees EPA funding, helped pass the IIJA. Pingree’s House-passed Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2023 confronts the climate crisis and builds resilience to climate change by expanding environmental protection efforts with a focus on land and water conservation.