Aerial view of river with land to the side.
The Susquehanna River is the largest tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program with aerial support by Southwings)

With each day, the year 2025 grows nearer. Why is this date so significant? When the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) was put into place in December 2010, it called for all pollution reducing practices to be in place across the watershed by 2025. Additionally, 11 outcomes in the most recent Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement also adopted the 2025 deadline for achieving their goals.

At the annual Chesapeake Executive Council meeting in October 2022, the members charged the Bay Program’s Principals’ Staff Committee with recommending a critical path forward that prioritizes and outlines the next steps for meeting the goals and outcomes of the Watershed Agreement leading up to and beyond 2025. When the Executive Council meets this fall, they’ve asked for recommendations on how to best address and integrate new science and restoration strategies leading up to 2025.

Throughout the past year, a group of representatives from federal and state agencies, non-profits and Bay Program advisory committees has met to develop these recommendations. To help inform this process, each lead for the 31 outcomes created what we refer to as an “Outcome Attainability Template” to share the current status, opportunities for success since 2014, challenges and what is needed to accelerate progress toward meeting the goal by 2025. The group also met with subject matter experts to further understand the successes, opportunities and challenges related to other topics that were specifically called out in the charge, including diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ), climate change, monitoring, emerging science, forest buffers and wetlands.

Now we need your help to make sure the recommendations we are putting forward are achievable, relevant and useful in helping to further the Bay’s restoration. Charting a Course to 2025: A Report and Recommendations for the Chesapeake Executive Council on How to Best Address and Integrate New Science and Restoration Strategies Leading Up to 2025 is open for public comment until 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, August 21.

As a reminder, this report is offering recommendations for accelerating outcome progress until 2025 only. A separate effort is currently ongoing to look at what is ahead for the Chesapeake Bay Program beyond 2025.

Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, August 21, 2023 at


Dr. Kent Mountford

I was the first Federal employee when the CBPO was created. Richard Batiuk becamde my intern the next year (and retired as Associate Director a few years ago) The goals were to reduce (especially Nitrogen) contaminants and rebuild living resources. Those should continue to be the goals, but in our face population, development near the water, impervious surfcaes and (sorry) public and Givernmental apathy continue to grow. In many ways for decades, we sort of stopped the Bay from going down hill, but human behavior, greed, self interest, and commercial econimic growth demands "for a better economy" fight us at every turn. Spending more often does not help the problem, just makes us feel better. Decades ago I thought a plan would be to bus people one way out to Montana , Idaho or wherever. OIf course nobody wants to go and more want to come here to Captain John Smiths "wonderful bay".

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