August 07, 2018
Chesapeake Executive Council Calls for Increased Support for Farmers across the Watershed
At the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, representatives from the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a directive in support of increasing technical assistance to the farmers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
“Maryland is fortunate to be home to countless natural assets, but for us none is more important than the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Today’s meeting is a critical opportunity to review some of our successes, acknowledge our challenges and forge a path forward together with our regional partners that will help us to accomplish even more. I believe very strongly that if we embrace a spirit of bipartisan cooperation, together we can find real, common sense solutions to protect the Bay and preserve this national treasure for future generations.”
The Chesapeake Executive Council, established 35 years ago, is responsible for guiding the policy agenda for the Chesapeake Bay Program and setting conservation and restoration goals. Members include the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Administrator of the EPA on behalf of the federal government.
“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.”
The directive 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. The EPA recently released its evaluations of the progress each of the six watershed states and the District of Columbia are making toward meeting their pollutant reductions goals under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL). While considerable progress has been made in reducing the pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay since the Bay TMDL was first put into place, the agriculture sector is identified as one in which additional work is needed. The Bay TMDL calls for all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers to be in place by 2025.
“Our farmers are strong stewards of the land and their contributions to improving water quality have been immense,” said Senator Frank Wagner, Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. “But to achieve clean water throughout the Bay watershed, we need to do even more. The directive signed by the Executive Committee today helps ensure farmers will have the assistance they need to finish the job. Last year, the Chesapeake Bay Commission issued a report focused on the technical assistance farmers need to improve both water quality and their bottom-line. The Executive Committee of the Chesapeake Bay Program – the political leadership of the watershed - have now adopted the report’s core recommendations. The farmers are willing to do the job. It’s our job to get them the help they need.”
In June 2014, the Executive Council signed the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, with the vision of fostering an environmentally and economically sustainable watershed with clean water, abundant life, conserved lands and access to the water, a vibrant cultural heritage, and a diversity of engaged citizens and stakeholders. As part of the Watershed Agreement, Chesapeake Bay Program partners adopted for the first time a goal to increase the number and diversity of people who support and carry out conservation and restoration work. At today’s meeting, Governor Hogan announced that the 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 elected Maryland Governor Larry Hogan as Chair for a second term and heard from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s three Advisory Committees, who represent citizens, local governments and the scientific and technical interests from across the watershed.
“The Chesapeake Bay ecosystem thrives on diversity and so does the strength of our collective restoration efforts, said Paula Jasinski, chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Citizens Advisory Committee. “The Citizens Advisory Committee applauds this new goal to bring new voices to the table as we work towards providing clean air and clean water for everyone in the watershed.”
July 17, 2018
Chesapeake Bay Program partnership exceeds 2017 targets for reducing phosphorus, sediment
Today, the Chesapeake Bay Program announced that the partnership has exceeded its pollution reducing targets for phosphorus and sediment. While computer simulations also show a drop in the amount of nitrogen entering the nation’s largest estuary, the partnership fell short of its pollution reducing target for nitrogen by 15 million pounds. According to the partnership’s Watershed Model, pollution controls put in place between 2009 and 2017 in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia have lowered nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads by 11 percent, 21 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Through the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, Chesapeake Bay Program partners committed to have in place all of the pollution reducing practices that would achieve the clean water standards of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) by 2025, with those practices that would achieve 60 percent of the necessary pollution reductions in place by 2017. Practices are currently in place to achieve 40 percent of the nitrogen reductions, 87 percent of the phosphorus reductions and 67 percent of the sediment reductions necessary to attain applicable water quality standards as compared to 2009, the year before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Bay TMDL.
Water quality modeling experts attribute this drop in estimated pollution loads to technological upgrades of wastewater treatment plants and the increased implementation of agricultural best management practices (BMPs). The implementation of BMPs in both the agricultural and urban sectors will need to accelerate to close the gap in reducing nitrogen loads.
June 27, 2018
2018 Blue Crab Advisory Report Released
The annual Blue Crab Advisory Report, released today by the Chesapeake Bay Program and developed by the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee, finds that the overall Chesapeake Bay blue crab population decreased by almost 18 percent from 455 million in 2017 to 372 million in 2018.
The report provides scientific analysis of the Bay’s blue crab population to help Bay resource managers as they set blue crab fishing regulations. The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team recently approved the 2018 edition of the report.
According to the report and the scientific reference points that resource managers follow for “target” (healthy) and “threshold” (border between safe and unsafe) levels, the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population is currently not depleted, and it is not being overfished.
Notably, the estimated 2018 population of 147 million adult females was lower than the target of 215 million. Scientists place a special focus on females as they develop the analysis because they are key to future success of the species. In the 2017 blue crab fishing season, 21 percent of all female blue crabs were harvested—safely below the target (25.5 percent) and threshold (34 percent) levels.
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. The Blue Crab Advisory Report includes expert analysis of data from the annual Bay-wide Winter Dredge Survey (released earlier this year by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources) and harvest estimates from recent years.
The number of juvenile crabs—which will grow to be harvestable size this fall—increased by 34 percent from 2017 to 2018, while adult males decreased 23 percent from 76 to 58 million. Overwintering mortality—the measure of crabs that die between fall and spring, due to factors including water temperature—was 6.37 percent, slightly higher than the average of 4.6 percent.
The Advisory Report recommends:
- Jurisdictions should maintain a cautious, risk-averse approach in 2018; no adjustments to management are suggested.
- Jurisdictions should implement procedures that provide accurate accountability of all commercial and recreational harvest to enable more accurate future assessments of the Bay’s blue crab population.
This multiagency report supports the blue crab abundance outcome outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which seeks to maintain a sustainable blue crab population, supporting healthy commercial and recreational harvest. The Blue Crab Advisory Report is developed by the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee, a group of experts from state and federal agencies and academic institutions.
May 31, 2018
Join communities across the watershed in celebrating Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week
The third annual Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week will take place June 2-10, 2018. While this week has been officially designated in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, events will take place throughout the entire watershed to raise awareness about this valuable economic and environmental resource—a national treasure that directly connects over 18 million residents.
Events spanning the watershed from Delaware to the District of Columbia can be found on Chesapeake Network. Organizations may also submit their own events to be added to the calendar. Here are some highlights of what’s happening during Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week:
- Lancaster Water Week: Celebrate the unique waterways of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, learn about the challenges it faces and the opportunities that can be created at events running June 1-9, 2018.
- Cheers to the Chesapeake: Join the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay as they kick off their partnership with the Richmond Symphony during the Festival of the River: Three Days of Art, Music and Environment on June 8, 2018.
- Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival: Celebrate the ‘Year of the Anacostia’ on June 9, 2018 by listening to dozens of bands, sampling delicious food and drink and supporting the continued restoration and maintenance of the Anacostia River and Kingman Island.
- Back to the Bay Day: Join in the fun with free games, educational activities, environmental booths and more at Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia on June 9, 2018.
- Senator Bernie Fowler’s Patuxent River Wade-in: Wade into the Patuxent River with former Senator Bernie Fowler and other dignitaries in Saint Leonard, Maryland during the 30th anniversary of this event to check water quality on June 10, 2018.
In 2016, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative commission that advises members of the general assemblies of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia on matters of Bay-wide concern, championed the idea of designating a week in June as Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week. The designation encourages all who reside in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to commemorate Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week with events, activities and educational programs to acknowledge the significance of the Chesapeake Bay.
Valued for its commercial and recreational value, the Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest estuary, whose 64,000 square mile watershed includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.
Follow the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Program, Choose Clean Water Coalition, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Virginia Conservation Network and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on social media during June 2-10 for facts, events and fun happening around the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
April 24, 2018
Underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay continue record growth for third year in a row
In 2017, an estimated 104,843 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in the Chesapeake Bay: the highest amount ever recorded by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the first time in our decades-long history of monitoring this critical habitat that the total abundance surpassed 100,000 acres. This marks the third consecutive year in which the acreage of underwater grasses reported for the Bay was the highest ever recorded since annual surveying began in 1984.
This total is 14,843 acres greater than the Chesapeake Bay Program's 2017 restoration target and 57 percent of the ultimate restoration goal adopted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Notably, a five percent increase in underwater grass abundance was observed just from 2016 to 2017.
Experts attribute this rise in underwater grass abundance to a strong increase in the very salty, moderately salty and tidal fresh regions of the Bay. The very salty regions of the Bay saw a sustained recovery of eelgrass, while the moderately salty regions of the Bay saw a continued increase in widgeon grass. Because widgeon grass is a "boom and bust" species whose abundance can rise and fall from year to year, a widgeon-dominant spike is not guaranteed to persist in future seasons. The wild celery, water stargrass and other species that have returned and reached new parts of the tidal fresh region of the Bay are less susceptible to rapid fluctuations in abundance.
Because underwater grasses are sensitive to pollution but quick to respond to water quality improvements, their abundance is a good indicator of Bay health. In a research article published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences in March 2018, scientists link the resurgence of underwater grasses to the nutrient reductions made under the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, indicating that this "pollution diet" and local conservation incentives have resulted in a healthier Chesapeake Bay.
Underwater grass abundance can vary from species to species and river to river. In 2017, local highlights included:
- Northeast Maryland: Underwater grass abundance in the Gunpowder River increased 34 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 912 acres to 1,219 acres. Underwater grass abundance in the neighboring Bush River increased 103 percent, from 62 to 126 acres.
- Central Maryland: Underwater grass abundance in the Patapsco River increased 313 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 3 to 14 acres.
- Southern Maryland: Underwater grass abundance in the Lower Patuxent River increased 301 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 32 to 130 acres.
- The District of Columbia: Underwater grass abundance in the Anacostia River increased 58 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 8 acres to 13 acres.
- Southeast Virginia: Underwater grass abundance in the Upper James River increased 389 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 92 acres to 448 acres. Grass abundance in the Middle James River increased 37 percent, from 52 to 71 acres.
July 30, 2018
2018 Chesapeake Executive Council Meeting
On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 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 sign a directive in support of agricultural technical assistance and conservation practice implementation. Each member of the Executive Council will have the opportunity to give remarks and hear about the importance of the partnership from citizen, local government and scientific and technical representatives.
For more detailed information as it becomes available, visit the 2018 Executive Council meeting webpage.
The Honorable Larry J. Hogan, Jr., Governor, State of Maryland (Executive Council Chair)
The Honorable Ralph S. Northam, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia
The Honorable John C. Carney, Jr., Governor, State of Delaware
The Honorable Frank Wagner, Chairman, Chesapeake Bay Commission
The Honorable Andrew Wheeler, Acting Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Kevin Donahue, Deputy Mayor, District of Columbia
The Honorable Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The Honorable Austin Caperton, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, State of West Virginia
The Honorable Jamie Clover Adams, Chief of Staff, Farm Production and Conservation, U.S. Department of Agriculture
WHERE: Meeting & Press Event: Douglass – Myers Maritime Park
Address for GPS: 1417 Thames Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21231
WHEN: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Public Poster Session: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
Public Meeting and Press Conference: 12:35 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
DETAILS: The Douglass – Myers Maritime Park is open to the public during this event. All are welcome to attend.
PLEASE RSVP BY 8/6/18: Rachel Felver, firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 267-5740
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership that has coordinated and conducted the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay for 30 years, since its formation thirty years ago in 1983. Partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government; the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission,a tri-state legislative body; and advisory groups of citizens, scientists and local government officials.
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, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Wenz, EPA Press Officer, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, (410) 295-1360, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.