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Chesapeake Bay News


Abridged draft of Watershed Agreement available for feedback

UPDATED: The deadline for submitting comments on the draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement is this Thursday, August 15, 2013. Comments can be submitted here.

The Chesapeake Bay Program has developed a draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which outlines new goals and outcomes that will guide partners in the protection, restoration and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay and which is open for public input until August 15, 2013.

The Bay Program has used agreements like this one to lead three decades of Bay restoration and protection, from the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement written in 1987 to Chesapeake 2000, which established more than 100 goals to reduce pollution, restore habitats, protect living resources and engage the public in environmental conservation.

The high-level goals and measurable targets found in the latest agreement address water quality, Bay fisheries and habitat, land conservation and public access.

An abridged draft of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement is available here; stakeholder input will be solicited again when a complete draft has been developed. Interested parties can offer input by submitting an online comment or an email to the Bay Program. Learn more.



Pat Wharry says:
July 18, 2013

Originally crafted 30 yrs ago! Shame on us for inept monitoring! Can we finally get it right by having clear, achievable guidelines, diligent monitoring of adherence to pollution control, warnings if not on track, then fines without exception. Too much is at stake to be lenient any longer. Climate change will not affect pollution! Don’t waste too much time and money on what can’t be controlled.


Bruce Potter says:
August 12, 2013

Actually the problem for decades has been that the program was based on erroneous models of the way the Bay operates (most notably, most pollution does not come from the Susquehanna watershed), and the fact that a LOT of pollution comes from hard-to-model and hard-to-measure NON-POINT-SOURCE sources of pollution. All compounded by a large proportion of pollution from legacy sources as a result of agricultural and development impacts since the 15th century.

Short story: It’s complicated and the program spun its wheels for a long time because no one was investing the time and talent required to truly understand how the Bay works. Simple solutions are probably wrong, and “good monitoring” would have just fined the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

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