The Chesapeake Executive Council (EC) elected the District of Columbia’s Mayor, Vincent C. Gray, as their new Chair today, giving him the top leadership position within the Chesapeake Bay Program, during their annual meeting held at Gunston Hall, near Lorton, VA. Additionally, under their meeting’s theme, “Step by Step, Stream by Stream: Restoring Our Waters”, EC members discussed restoration progress since last year and considered how jurisdictions’ short-term milestones, established in 2009, will be used to track their goals for reducing pollution and creating healthy waters, as outlined in their recently-finalized Watershed Implementation Plans.
New Executive Council Chair Mayor Gray and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson shake hands after Mayor Gray is selected as the new chair.
Outgoing EC Chair and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson also announced 14 local governments from across the watershed that will be receiving technical assistance from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF’s) Local Government Green Infrastructure Initiative. Jackson noted 23 additional localities have been awarded similar assistance through NFWF’s rolling grant process, for a total of 37 localities receiving support valued at $2.3 million. The program, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), offers local governments much-needed assistance to make progressive infrastructure changes to improve nearby water quality.