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Virginia Senators Calling for Rejection of Chesapeake Bay Budget Cuts

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Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner (Photos courtesy the Associated Press in 2016) Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner (Photos courtesy the Associated Press in 2016)
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -

Virginia Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are calling on their colleagues to reject federal cuts concerning the Chesapeake Bay.

The Trump administration's proposed budget would eliminate about $73 million a year for cleanup efforts. 

Warner says he believes there's a way to address concerns about the federal deficit level. However, he says protecting the quality of the water in the Chesapeake Bay is too important to leave by the wayside.

A trickle-down effect of recommended budget cuts would mean loss of federal support in maintaining the water for fishing and other recreational activities.

Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration has also been promoting the oysters, crabs and other tourism draws connected to the bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says funding slashes could threaten the recovery of the Rivanna, Shenandoah, and James Rivers and the wellness of streams across the NBC29 viewing area.

"We all value the Chesapeake Bay, one of our great treasures," said Warner. "My hope is that Democrats and Republicans will actually come together and put together a realistic budget that holds and keeps our deficit down but does it in a reasonable way."

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation points to funding sent to Virginia Tech last year that supported farmers in the valley. The program helped them keep pollution out of area waters by developing nutrient management plans. The same funds also supported expanding the brook trout habitat in the valley.

The Trump administration's plan has some deep cuts so the budget can focus heavily on security and rebuilding the military. If Congress approves a $54 billion boost to defense, that will likely benefit Virginia.

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