News Release, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(WASHINGTON, DC)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker today congratulated to Maryland’s senior senator, Ben Cardin, for winning the prestigious 2020 US Water Prize for Outstanding Public Official. Senator Cardin was recognized by the US Water Alliance for his achievements promoting water equity and greater investment in water infrastructure.
The nonprofit US Water Alliance works to build a sustainable water future for all people and educate Americans about the value of this precious resource to building strong economies, thriving communities, and a healthy environment.
Over more than 50 years serving the people of Maryland, Senator Cardin has distinguished himself as a dedicated defender of the Chesapeake Bay and vocal advocate of clean water for all. He began his career in office the same year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation was established, 1967, and he has been a leader in protecting Maryland’s greatest natural resource ever since.
From his early work in the Maryland House of Delegates on the original Chesapeake Bay Agreement to his recent success in the Senate securing reauthorization and a historic funding increase for the federal Chesapeake Bay Program, Senator Cardin has never wavered in his commitment to science-based solutions and a collaborative approach to saving the Bay.
He has been an invaluable ally fighting the Trump administration’s short-sighted attempts to slash the Chesapeake Bay Program’s annual budget and roll back bedrock water quality protections vital to restoring the Bay and its waterways to good health. In more than 30 years on Capitol Hill, Senator Cardin has helped steer tens of millions of federal dollars to Bay research and restoration initiatives.
As a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, he has led the fight to direct greater federal investment to upgrade the nation’s deteriorating water treatment infrastructure, strengthen drinking water safeguards, replace lead service lines, and keep lead and other dangerous contaminants out of our water supply.
Senator Cardin has worked tirelessly to help low-income and small communities update aging wastewater treatment works and improve their resiliency to damaging extreme weather events. He was instrumental in creating a grant program to reduce unhealthy combined and sanity sewer overflows that plague Baltimore and many older cities. The program also helps local communities reduce polluted runoff from city and suburban streets, a major source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways.