January 04, 2018
Chesapeake Bay Program notes continued progress in Chesapeake Bay restoration
Today, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) released its annual report on environmental health and restoration in the Chesapeake Bay watershed at an event at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. The Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed 2016-2017 is a science-based snapshot of the nation’s largest estuary that features data and information gathered by the Bay Program’s many partners. It notes a continued improvement in the health of the Chesapeake Bay: a positive sign that restoration efforts are working.
The resiliency of the Chesapeake Bay is revealed by the 20 indicators of environmental health, restoration and stewardship in the Bay Barometer. Experts observed positive trends in many of the indicators that were updated in 2016 and 2017, including:
- Underwater Grasses (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, or SAV): Fifty-three percent of the outcome to achieve and sustain 185,000 acres of underwater grasses in the Bay—including 130,000 acres by 2025—has been met.
- Blue Crab Abundance: Over 100 percent of the outcome to maintain a sustainable target of 215 million adult female blue crabs has been achieved. Fish Passage: Over 100 percent of the outcome to restore historical fish migration routes by opening 1,000 additional stream miles to fish passage has been achieved.
- Estimated Pollution Reduced: Computer simulations show that pollution controls put in place in the Chesapeake Bay watershed between 2009 and 2016 lowered nitrogen loads by nine percent, phosphorus loads by 20 percent and sediment loads by nine percent. Pollution-reducing practices are in place to achieve 33 percent of the nitrogen reductions, 81 percent of the phosphorus reductions and 57 percent of the sediment reductions necessary to attain clean water standards.
- Water Quality Standards Achieved: Forty percent of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries met water quality standards between 2014 and 2016, the highest amount ever recorded.
This year, data was assessed for the first time for three new indicators: Environmental Literacy and Planning, Student Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences and Citizen Stewardship.
Watershed residents play a significant role in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay. This year, the partnership acknowledged the actions that watershed residents are taking to protect clean water and restore environmental health—including how much of the region has volunteered or spoken out on behalf of the environment—through the first ever Citizen Stewardship Index and through the recognition of the efforts of volunteers and citizen scientists to collect monitoring data from the many local waterways that wind through the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Through the Citizen Monitoring Cooperative, these groups and individuals can obtain technical support and help in developing their monitoring programs and add their data to a central location for others to use.
December 14, 2017
Water Quality in Chesapeake Bay Approaches Record High
The Chesapeake Bay Program announced today that estimated water quality in the tidal Chesapeake Bay has reached a near-record high. According to preliminary data, almost 40 percent of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries met clean water standards for clarity, oxygen and algae growth between 2014 and 2016. This two percent increase from the previous assessment period is due in large part to a rise in dissolved oxygen in the deep channel of the Bay.
While this positive sign of resiliency in the nation’s largest estuary indicates our ecosystem has recovered from the damages sustained during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, water quality must improve in 60 percent of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries if the estuary is to function as a healthy ecosystem. Local efforts to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution have shown some success under the Chesapeake Bay’s “pollution diet,” but the challenge of putting enough conservation practices on the ground to further reduce agricultural runoff and urban runoff to local waterways remains.
The Chesapeake Bay Program partnership uses several environmental indicators to track pollution and assess aquatic health. A suite of computer simulations called the Watershed Model is used to estimate the impact that local conservation and best management practices have had on nutrient and sediment loads. Monitoring data collected from stations on the nine largest rivers in the watershed provide the foundation for experts to estimate the total nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries each year, while data collected from stations in non-tidal waters allow experts to assess the aquatic response to efforts to reduce agricultural and urban runoff. Additionally, monitoring data is also collected from a comprehensive network of hundreds of stations in tidal waters to assess changes in water quality.
Computer simulations show that best management practices are currently in place to achieve 33 percent of the nitrogen reductions, 81 percent of the phosphorus reductions and 57 percent of the sediment reductions necessary to achieve the pollution-reducing commitments of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. In 2016, Chesapeake Bay Program partners surpassed their phosphorus- and sediment-reducing goals. Nitrogen reductions, however, fell short of the target for the fourth year in a row, due in large part to a gap in reported and implemented agricultural best management practices in Pennsylvania. At the 2016 meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced their intent to increase funding, technical assistance and direction for Pennsylvania in order to increase the implementation of nitrogen controls in the Commonwealth.
Findings based primarily on monitoring data collected at nine River Input Monitoring (RIM) stations reveal inconsistent trends in pollution loads.
- In the District of Columbia, the Potomac RIM station has experienced improving ten-year trends in nitrogen but degrading ten-year trends in phosphorus.
- In Maryland, one station—in the Patuxent—has experienced improving ten-year trends in nitrogen and phosphorus. The Susquehanna station has experienced degrading ten-year trends in nitrogen and phosphorus; the Patuxent station has experienced degrading ten-year trends in sediment; and the Choptank station has experienced degrading ten-year trends in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.
- In Virginia, both the James and the Rappahannock stations have experienced improving ten-year trends in nitrogen. The Mattaponi station has experienced degrading ten-year trends in nitrogen and phosphorus; the Pamunkey station has experienced degrading ten-year trends in nitrogen and sediment; and the Appomattox station has experienced degrading ten-year trends in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.
Monitoring data collected from non-tidal stations throughout the watershed show that half of the stations analyzed for nitrogen, 38 percent of the stations analyzed for phosphorus and 20 percent of the stations analyzed for sediment have experienced improving ten-year trends. Thirty-one percent of the non-tidal stations analyzed for nitrogen, 26 percent of those analyzed for phosphorus and 37 percent of those analyzed for sediment have experienced degrading ten-year trends.
While data also show that pollution loads in 2016 remained below the long-term average, these loads did increase: between 2015 and 2016, nitrogen loads increased 12 percent to 241 million pounds, phosphorus loads increased 35 percent to 13.6 million pounds and sediment loads increased 56 percent to 2.5 million tons. Experts attribute this rise to an increase in river flow, which itself is affected by rainfall.
Improvements in water quality will take time, and there are often lags between the implementation of best management practices and the visible effects of those practices on a particular waterway. In January, the Chesapeake Bay Program will release the 2016-17 Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which will explore how the entire Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and its watershed are responding to the partnership’s collective protection and restoration efforts.
November 08, 2017
Groundbreaking Survey Reveals Extent of Stewardship Actions and Attitudes in Chesapeake Bay Region
The Chesapeake Bay Program released today the groundbreaking results of the first comprehensive survey of stewardship actions and attitudes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Known as the Citizen Stewardship Index, this powerful package of data and information reveals which actions residents are taking to protect clean water and restore environmental health, as well as showing how much of the region has volunteered or spoken out on behalf of the environment. The data also forecasts future stewardship by measuring residents’ willingness to engage in certain actions and responses to perceptions that motivate environmentally responsible behaviors.
Rooted in social science, the Citizen Stewardship Index will directly inform the work of watershed organizations and government agencies that foster environmental stewardship. By highlighting gaps in stewardship behavior, for instance, it can empower these agencies and organizations to more effectively design stewardship programs. By measuring the prevalence of citizen stewardship actions and attitudes, it helps the Chesapeake Bay Program track its Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement commitment to increase the number and diversity of volunteers with the knowledge and skills needed to enhance the health of their local watersheds.
When surveyed earlier this year, watershed residents scored a 24 out of 100 on the Citizen Stewardship Index. This score is based on the adoption rate of 19 actions that individuals can take to improve water quality and environmental health, as well as the portion of the public that is volunteering in community efforts to improve the environment and engaging in civic activities on behalf of the environment. To score a 100 on the Citizen Stewardship Index, everyone in the region would need to do everything they could in their daily lives to improve water quality and environmental health, from personal actions to volunteering and advocating for the environment. More information about how this score was determined is available at www.chesapeakeprogress.com/engaged-communities/citizen-stewardship.
In addition to the Citizen Stewardship Index—which describes the status of citizen stewardship—the survey results use three additional scores to predict future stewardship. The closer each score is to 100, the more individuals are likely to take actions in the near future to improve water quality and environmental health.
- The Likely to Take Personal Actions score—which is currently 22—measures residents’ willingness to consider taking an environmentally responsible action they are not taking today.
- The Likely to Volunteer and Advocate score—which is currently 63—measures residents’ interest in participating in community efforts or civic activities to improve water quality and environmental health.
- The Motivating Attitudes score—which is currently 65—measures five key perceptions that can motivate environmentally responsible behavior.
September 19, 2017
NFWF Announces More Than $12.6 Million in Grants from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced more than $12.6 million in grants to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in six states and the District of Columbia. The grants will generate more than $21.2 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $33.8 million.
The grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF), a partnership between NFWF and the EPA’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (INSR Program) and Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG Program). Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership and CSX.
Grant winners were announced at the project site of a previous grant recipient – a recently completed community greenway and bioretention rain garden at the Miramar Landing Community in Middle River, Maryland.
“Through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and our partners, especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, continue to invest in locally-led efforts to protect and restore the more than 100,000 miles of local rivers and streams that feed the Bay,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO, NFWF. “These investments demonstrate that the actions necessary to restore local rivers and streams go hand in hand with opportunities to enhance local communities like those here in Middle River.”
The projects supported by the 44 grants announced today will establish methods to improve waterways, restore habitat and strengthen iconic species in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The funds will engage farmers and agricultural producers, homeowners, churches and businesses in on-the-ground restoration that supports quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and ultimately the health of the Bay.
The INSR Program awarded more than $7.3 million to 13 projects, with recipients providing more than $13.7 million in match. The program provides grants to innovative and cost-effective projects that dramatically reduce or eliminate the flow of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
The SWG Program awarded more than $5.3 million to 31 projects, with recipients providing nearly $7.5 million in match. The program provides grants to organizations and municipal governments that are working to improve the condition of their local watershed through on-the-ground restoration, habitat conservation and community involvement. Grant recipients expect to reduce pollution through infrastructures including greener landscapes and community outreach initiatives that promote native landscaping and improved practices for managing runoff.
“A healthy Bay means a healthy economy for Maryland and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed region and this cannot be accomplished without a reliable federal partner,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Public-private partnerships like the ones announced today ensure that communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed have access to clean waters, as well as healthy fish and wildlife. Such strategic investments generate new economic activity, create jobs and save taxpayer dollars. It’s why I was proud to shepherd through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. All of us have a part to play in helping restore the Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund makes it possible for local communities to get involved.”
This year’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients include:
- Gunpowder Valley Conservancy ($791,837) will mobilize communities to work together to enhance stormwater treatment and restore forests and streams in the Middle River, Tidal Gunpowder, Bird River and Lower Gunpowder watersheds.
- Pigtown Main Street, Inc. ($173,763) will replace impervious surfaces on Washington Boulevard in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood to improve stormwater management and reduce runoff from storm events affecting this Baltimore neighborhood.
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation ($663,711) will assist local governments on Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore to develop increased stormwater management capacity, and facilitate a collaborative regional structure among cities and towns including Cambridge, Easton, Oxford and Salisbury, and Queen Anne’s and Talbot County, that will aid in the planning, prioritization and streamlined delivery of restoration projects.
A complete list of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund 2017 grant recipients is available here.
“Countless neighborhoods like Miramar Landing, businesses, agricultural operations and wildlife habitat areas come together in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries to form one of the most unique economic ecosystems in the world,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. “I am proud to support grant funding through the EPA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for non-profit and other organizations to determine best practices in Chesapeake Bay environmental and water resource management.”
“By working together from the local to the federal level, everyone is encouraged to be a stakeholder in the protection of the one of our country’s most treasured and valuable resources, the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” he said.
“The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund does tremendous work to advance Bay restoration and conservation efforts,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus. “By making these kinds of critical investments in the Bay Watershed, we can continue steadily improving Bay waterways, ecosystems and wildlife – which will help ensure that the Bay remains our region’s key economic driver and a national treasure for generations to come.”
“EPA is committed to supporting local communities using innovative, sustainable, community-based approaches for improving the health of their local rivers and streams throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Cecil Rodrigues, EPA acting regional administrator. “These 44 projects are a smart investment in solid partnerships with states and local organizations that will return lasting benefits by improving stormwater infrastructure, and ensuring healthy waterways and safe drinking water.”
"Maryland appreciates the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s support for environmental progress through these Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant awards,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Now more than ever, we need innovation and collaboration to restore the Bay, with seed money for growing partnerships and sharing talents locally and regionally.”
Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $65 million to 153 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 1999, the SWG Program has provided more than $52 million to support 804 projects in the region and has further leveraged $143 million in local matching funds for a total conservation investment in on-the-ground restoration of nearly $200 million.
For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grant Slate, visit www.nfwf.org/chesapeake.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
June 26, 2017
2017 Blue Crab Advisory Report Released
In a report released today, the Chesapeake Bay Program encouraged the jurisdictions that manage the Bay’s blue crab fisheries to maintain a risk-averse approach as they set regulations in 2017. The report confirmed that while the 2017 estimated population of adult female blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay was higher than the target, the overall population of blue crabs declined. The annual Blue Crab Advisory Report, developed by the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee and approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team, provides Bay resource managers with scientific data and advice to inform their decisions regarding blue crab fishing regulations.
“The annual Blue Crab Advisory Report provides valuable data analysis and recommendations to the agencies that manage crabs here in the Bay to help them make scientifically informed decisions regarding our beloved—and valuable—blue crabs,” said Sean Corson, acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Chesapeake Bay Office and Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team Chair. “The science it features enables us to enjoy crabs at crab feasts and on our dinner tables, today and in future years.”
The Blue Crab Advisory Report includes expert analyses of data from the annual Bay-wide Winter Dredge Survey, released earlier this year, as well as harvest estimates from recent years. According to the Blue Crab Advisory Report and the scientific reference points that resource managers follow for “target” levels—which are considered healthy—and “threshold” levels, which mark the border between healthy and unhealthy levels, the Chesapeake Bay blue crab stock is currently not depleted and overfishing is not occurring.
The estimated 2017 population of 254 million adult females was higher than the target of 215 million set by the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. In 2016, 16 percent of all female crabs were harvested—below both the target (25.5 percent) and threshold (34 percent) levels. The report indicates that while numbers of adult female crabs in the Bay increased by 30 percent in 2017, the overall crab population decreased by almost 18 percent from 553 million in 2016 to 455 million in 2017. Notably, the number of juvenile crabs decreased by 54 percent from 2016 to 2017.
“The highly variable nature of blue crabs was on full display this past year,” said Glenn Davis, Chair, Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “The largest abundance of spawning females from the Winter Dredge Survey time series was great news, and demonstrated what can happen when jurisdictions adhere to science-based management. The low recruitment served as a reminder that large inter-annual fluctuations can be part of the norm and that managing blue crabs is a continuous challenge.”
During the 2016 crabbing season, approximately 60 million pounds of blue crabs were harvested from the Bay and its tributaries by commercial fishermen—roughly 20 percent more than in 2015. Recreational crabbers harvested just over four million pounds.
The Blue Crab Advisory Report recommends:
- Jurisdictions should maintain a cautious, risk-averse approach in 2017, and consider scaling back the fall fishery from last year’s more liberal regulations. This would protect a greater number of juvenile crabs and give them the opportunity to grow old enough to spawn next year, which would produce more crabs in the future.
- The accuracy and quality of tracking both commercial and recreational harvests should continue to be improved. Current efforts to collaborate with industry groups on electronic and online reporting systems and other new reporting technologies should continue.
- Jurisdictions and scientists should work to address specific research questions and discuss timing, rationale and resources for future stock assessments that would provide in-depth analysis of the blue crab population, fishery and management.
Blue crab populations can naturally vary widely from year to year, based on weather, water temperature and other conditions, as well as fishing pressure. The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team is funding research evaluating ecosystem effects on the blue crab population to enable
more accurate quantification of these effects in the future. Commercial fishermen rely on a steady supply of crabs in the Bay, and recreational crabbers enjoy being able to catch crabs. Using science such as that included in the Blue Crab Advisory Report enables resource managers to set regulations that help support a sustainable blue crab population and promote coordination across the jurisdictions.
The blue crab fishery in the Chesapeake Bay is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Marine Resources Commission and Potomac River Fisheries Commission.
This multiagency report supports the blue crab abundance and blue crab management outcomes outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which seeks to maintain a sustainable blue crab population, supporting healthy commercial and recreational harvest. Development of the Blue Crab Advisory Report is made possible through the efforts of experts from state and federal agencies and academic institutions who serve on the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee.
January 02, 2018
Chesapeake Bay Program releases Bay Barometer; resilience noted throughout watershed
The Chesapeake Bay Program will release its annual, science-based snapshot of the nation’s largest estuary, the Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (2016 – 2017) on Thursday, January 4, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Subject matter experts will be on hand to answer questions regarding the most recent scientific data on the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including its rivers, fisheries and habitats.
Press release will be available by 9:00 a.m. ET on January 4
WHO: Ben Grumbles, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment (invited)
Jim Edward, Acting Director, Chesapeake Bay Program
Kate Fritz, Executive Director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Al Todd, former Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program Stewardship Workgroup
WHEN: Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. ET
WHERE: Annapolis Maritime Museum
723 2nd Street
Annapolis, MD 21403
MEDIA RSVP: Rachel Felver, Chesapeake Bay Program Director of Communications
January 30, 2017
Bay Barometer Media Call
The Chesapeake Bay Program will release its annual, science-based snapshot of the nation’s largest estuary, the Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (2015 – 16) on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Subject matter experts will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the most recent scientific data on the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including its rivers, fisheries and habitats.
The leaders of the Chesapeake Bay Program, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will provide statements on the progress toward restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
Press release will be available by 9:00 a.m. ET on February 1
WHO: Nick DiPasquale, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program
William C. Baker, President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Dr. Don Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
WHEN: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. ET
WHERE: Conference call. Dial: 866-299-3188 Enter Code: 4102675731
MEDIA RSVP: Rachel Felver, Chesapeake Bay Program Director of Communications, (410) 267-5740, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 28, 2016
2016 Chesapeake Executive Council Annual Meeting
On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, the Chesapeake Executive Council will hold a public meeting and press event during which they will set goals and provide guidance for the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. The council, established by the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983, meets on an annual basis.
During this meeting, the council is expected to adopt a resolution to support and collaborate with local governments and will note the signs of resiliency that are beginning to be seen throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Each member of the Executive Council will also publically speak to the challenges facing their jurisdictions in regard to Chesapeake Bay restoration.
For more detailed information as it becomes available, visit the 2016 Executive Council meeting webpage.
The Honorable Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia (EC Chair)
The Honorable Thomas Wolf, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The Honorable Thomas McLain “Mac” Middleton, Chairman, Chesapeake Bay Commission
The Honorable Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Jeannie Haddaway Riccio, Deputy Chief of Staff, State of Maryland
The Honorable Kara Coats, Deputy Secretary, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, State of Delaware
The Honorable James Tierney, Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, State of New York
The Honorable Hamid Karimi, Deputy Director, Natural Resources Administration, Department of Energy and the Environment, District of Columbia
The Honorable Brigadier General William Graham, Commander and Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The Honorable Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Meeting & Press Event – Virginia State Arboretum
Address for GPS: 400 Blandy Farm Lane Boyce, VA 22620
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Public Poster Session and Q&A with Subject Matter Experts: 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. ET
Public Meeting and Press Conference: 11:05 a.m.–12:00 p.m. ET
The Virginia State Arboretum is open to the public during this event. All are welcome to attend.
Please RSVP by 10/3/16: Rachel Felver, email@example.com or (410) 267-5740
September 19, 2016
Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Improves in 2015
Join experts from the Chesapeake Bay Program on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. ET as they answer questions and discuss the latest data on the health of the Chesapeake Bay, as measured by monitored nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution loads in rivers and streams, as well as the estimated achievement of water quality standards for measures such as dissolved oxygen, water clarity/underwater grasses and chlorophyll a that help determine how well the Bay can support its living resources.
Press release will be available by 10:00 a.m. ET on September 21 http://www.chesapeakebay.net/presscenter
Nick DiPasquale, Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program, Environmental Protection Agency
Rich Batiuk, Associate Director for Science, Analysis and Implementation, Environmental Protection Agency
Scott Phillips, Chesapeake Bay Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Conference call. Dial: 866-299-3188 Enter Code: 4102675731
Rachel Felver, Chesapeake Bay Program Director of Communications, (410) 267-5740, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 19, 2016
Experts, Decision Makers Focus on Improving Environmental Education
The Leadership Summit on Environmental Literacy will bring together cabinet-level representatives from state government, environmental education experts, and decision makers from around the watershed to explore how states can assist local education agencies in creating and sustaining high-quality environmental literacy programming as part of their ongoing education reforms and to meet commitments under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Participants will also examine opportunities provided by the environmental education provisions of the recently enacted Every Students Succeeds Act to support state and local environmental literacy programming. The meeting is organized by the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, a partner of the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Media are welcome to join from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to observe students from Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland who will participate in hands-on field experiences with summit attendees. The session will also feature Nick DiPasquale, Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program; Tom Ackerman, Vice President of Education at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; and Dr. Renee Foose, Superintendent of Howard County Public Schools as they describe how experiences like this are part of a comprehensive effort to increase Chesapeake Bay stewardship. Members of the media should check in with Rachel Felver, Director of Communications for the Chesapeake Bay Program upon arrival.
Leadership Summit on Environmental Literacy
Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The summit is a day-long, focused event that will run from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and includes several closed, working sessions. Media are welcome to join from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Phillip Merrill Environmental Center, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403
• Congressman John Sarbanes (Maryland), U.S. House of Representatives
• Mark Belton, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
• Molly Ward, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources
• Steven Staples, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction
• Dr. Renee Foose, Superintendent, Howard County Public Schools
• Tom Ackerman, Vice President of Education, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
April 18, 2016
Data Show Drop in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sediment Pollution to Chesapeake Bay
Join the Chesapeake Bay Program on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 3:00p.m., to discuss the latest science-based estimates of how much pollution flow into the Chesapeake Bay has changed over time as a result of watershed-wide actions taken by Chesapeake Bay Program partners.
Nick DiPasquale, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program
Gary Shenk, Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Chesapeake Bay Program
James Davis-Martin, Chesapeake Bay Nonpoint Source Coordinator, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Media briefing on how actions on land are estimated to have reduced nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment flowing from lands into the rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay since 2009
Monday, April 18, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Conference call. Dial: 866-299-3188 Enter Code: 2679856222
Rachel Felver, Chesapeake Bay Program Director of Communications, (410) 267-5740, email@example.com
Tom Wenz, EPA Press Officer, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, (410) 295-1360, firstname.lastname@example.org
December 08, 2015
Fisheries Scientists, Managers, Constituents to Discuss Chesapeake Bay Fishery Resource Management
The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team will meet Monday, December 14 to discuss topics of critical importance to important fishery species in the Bay. Sessions will feature presentations by top scientists from the region.
WHAT: Semiannual in-person meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team.
Working agenda topics:
• Oyster restoration efforts in Maryland and Virginia
• Developing forage indicators and nutritional profiles for five predatory species in the Bay
• Updates on two-year workplans to achieve blue crab, forage, fish habitat, and oyster outcomes under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement
• Latest scientific data on cownose rays, including findings from a recent workshop
• Blue crab survey and research on blue crab reproductive capacity
• Analyses of blue catfish diet in Bay tributaries
WHEN: Monday, December 14 (10 a.m.-4:15 p.m.); see meeting page for webinar/call-in information
WHERE: Bernie Fowler Lab on the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory campus, 142 Williams St., Solomons, Maryland, 20688
WHO: Presentations by experts from:
• NOAA (Peyton Robertson, Stephanie Westby, Emilie Franke)
• Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (Matt Ogburn)
• UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (Tom Miller, Andre Buchheister, Mike Wilberg)
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Susan Connor)
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Don Orth, Joseph Schmitt)
ABOUT: The Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team includes the state fisheries managers from around the Bay, fisheries scientists, other experts, and stakeholders, and is chaired by the director of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. The team uses the latest science to inform fishery management decisions and meets in person twice a year to address issues and promote sustainable fish populations that support commercial and recreational fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay, and to share and discuss the latest science on these species.
July 30, 2015
Chesapeake Bay’s Underwater Grass Abundance Rose Last Year
In a conference call Thursday, July 30 at 11 a.m., scientists with the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) will discuss the 2014 results of their annual Bay-wide survey of underwater grasses from Susquehanna Flats to the mouth of the Bay and the many rivers in between.
The Chesapeake Bay Program tracks underwater grass abundance as an indicator of Bay health. Underwater grasses, also known as submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), serve many essential functions and are among the most closely monitored habitats in the Bay. They provide critical shelter to blue crabs, fish and other key species; improve water clarity by helping sediment settle to the bottom; reduce nutrient pollution, add oxygen to the water; reduce shoreline erosion and are a major source of food for over-wintering waterfowl.
- Robert Orth, Professor, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) / CBP
- Brooke Landry, Chair, CBP’s SAV Workgroup & Biologist, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) / CBP
- Rebecca Golden, Vice-Chair, CBP’s SAV Workgroup & Biologist, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) / CBP
Thursday, July 30 at 11 a.m.
Conference call line: 866-299-3188 Code: 410 267 5710
July 29, 2015
2015 Chesapeake Executive Council Annual Meeting
On Thursday, July 23, the Chesapeake Executive Council (EC) will hold a public meeting and press event during which they are expected to announce the completion of the long-anticipated strategies for meeting the goals of Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, signed last June. The council meets once a year to set the goals and provide guidance for the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.
These management strategies are the culmination of year-long collaborative efforts by scientists, policy experts and the public. With them in place, Bay Program partners now have the structure that will guide their collective and jurisdictional work toward a restored Bay ecosystem.
For more detailed information as it becomes available, visit the 2015 Executive Council meeting webpage.
- The Honorable Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia (EC Chair)
- The Honorable L. Scott Lingamfelter, Chairman, Chesapeake Bay Commission
- The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor, District of Columbia
- The Honorable Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- The Honorable Boyd K. Rutherford, Lieutenant Governor, State of Maryland
- The Honorable David Small, Secretary, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, State of Delaware
- The Honorable John Quigley, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Jenny Zeng, Associate Director of Federal Affairs, Gov. Cuomo’s Office, State of New York
- The Honorable Ann Mills, Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- The Honorable Karen Hyun, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of Interior
Meeting & Press Event - US National Arboretum, Visitor’s Center
Address for GPS: 2400 R. St., N.E., Washington, DC
Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:15-1:15p.m.
The National Arboretum is open to the public during this event. All are welcome to attend.
Press RSVP by 7/22: Margaret Enloe, email@example.com or 410-267-5740.
Photos: Images from around the Bay watershed, including crabs, oysters, forest buffers, wetlands and more.
RSS: Feed of recent press releases.