Kaine, Warner announce bay designation

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 12, 2010, file photo, a man looks out over the Chesapeake Bay, with the Bay Bridge in the background, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Md. A federal court is deciding whether the Obama administration's plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed oversteps legal bounds, an election-year appeal by farmers and 21 attorneys general that could shape future U.S environmental policy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 12, 2010, file photo, a man looks out over the Chesapeake Bay, with the Bay Bridge in the background, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Md. A federal court is deciding whether the Obama administration's plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed oversteps legal bounds, an election-year appeal by farmers and 21 attorneys general that could shape future U.S environmental policy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Chesapeake Bay watershed is among eight areas in the nation being designated critical conservation areas.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine said Tuesday that designation ensures federal funding to help implement a variety of conservation projects.

With the designation, the bay is eligible to receive a portion of more than $100 million in annual funding. It would be used to help implement a variety of conservation projects and increase the sustainability of regional water, soil, wildlife and natural resources.

The bay’s designation as a critical conservation area comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Chesapeake Bay is the world’s largest estuary, with a watershed encompassing 64,000 square miles.

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