Members and designees of the Chesapeake Executive Council met today at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Baltimore, Maryland to set annual conservation and restoration goals and continue to guide the policy agenda for the Chesapeake Bay Program.
The governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency signed a directive in support of increasing technical assistance to the farmers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Directive in Support of Agricultural Technical Assistance and Conservation Practice Implementation, recognizes the crucial role that farmers play in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, while acknowledging the need for increased technical assistance to help the agricultural sector in meeting their pollutant reduction goals.
“Through the Chesapeake Bay Program, we are making significant progress reducing pollution and improving the health of the Bay, as demonstrated by the current record acreage of underwater grasses,” said acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today, we signed a directive to assist farmers in conservation efforts, so we can work together to meet our pollution reduction goals and continue to improve the water quality of local streams and the Bay.”
Governor Larry Hogan, re-elected for his second term as Chair of the Executive Council, announced in his remarks that the Chesapeake Bay Program is setting new goals for increasing diversity by 2025. These include increasing both the percentage of people of color in the Chesapeake Bay Program to 25 percent and the percentage of people of color in leadership positions to 15 percent.
“This renewed commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusivity will help us build cleaner, healthier waterways for the entire region,” said District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser. “To restore our shared waterways and build a more resilient Washington, DC, the District is proud to commit to more rigorous pollution reduction goals that account for the impact of climate change on water quality.”
The Executive Council also heard from the chairs of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s three advisory committees, representing citizen, local government and scientific and technical interests.