Statement on Governor Northam Budget Announcement
An historic investment in Virginia’s natural resources that will have resounding impacts to our lands and waters for generations to come.
Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that his 2020-2022 biennial budget will include $733 million in new funding for the environment. This increase in funding for Virginia’s natural resources will scale up our land conservation efforts, enhance water quality, support ongoing work by our conservation agencies, increase oyster restoration efforts, and boost economic development.
In response to the Governor’s announcement, Nikki Rovner, Associate State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Virginia, issued the following statement:
“This is a historic investment in Virginia’s natural resources that will have resounding impacts to our lands and waters for generations to come. Conserving our lands and waters is not only the mission of The Nature Conservancy, but also a core function of state government. We applaud Governor Northam’s commitment to preserve and strengthen Virginia’s natural resources by ensuring adequate funding for these essential initiatives, programs and agencies.”
The proposed budget supports the Chesapeake Bay clean water blueprint Governor Northam released earlier this year with major investments to support local governments tackling stormwater pollution, upgrade wastewater treatment plants, and assist farmers implementing conservation practices to reduce farm runoff.
When added to another $10 million for oyster reef restoration, these investments in clean water total more than $400 million and will put Virginia on track to meet the 2025 Bay cleanup deadline.
Governor Northam also proposed an additional $15.5 million investment for the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation grant program, bringing it up to $20 million each year, to support targeted land protection through the Governor’s groundbreaking ConserveVirginia initiative.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.