FILE - VA Gov. Ralph Northam

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaks at his inauguration, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Craig | Flickr via Creative Commons)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam met with other regional partners to reaffirm a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and protect the striped bass.

“If we are true to the commitments we have all made as members of this partnership, we are capable of restoring the Chesapeake Bay by 2025,” Northam said at the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council. “We must make the tough policy decisions and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our federal and state partners to execute an effective Bay cleanup effort.”

Northam highlighted the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan for the bay, which was finalized about two weeks ago. This plan helps guide local, state and federal actions to improve the bay’s health and reduce nutrient and sediment pollution through 2025.

The plan also includes more funding to Virginia’s Agriculture Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. The program, which gives farmers financial and technical assistance, will receive $73 million in fiscal year 2020, which is $11 million higher than the previous record.

“I am committed to working with our Bay partners to enact strong conservation measures to prevent the overfishing of striped bass up and down the coast,” Northam said. “The science is clear that we need to do more—we must take action to protect and restore this iconic fishery.”

Also in attendance were state representatives from the watershed jurisdictions, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and representatives for the Environmental Protection Agency in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Staff Writer

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.