March 25, 2020
Chesapeake Bay Program releases 2018-19 Bay Barometer
Today, the Chesapeake Bay Program released its annual report, Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed 2018-19. This science-based snapshot provides the most up-to-date information about the environmental health and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These data and information are the result of the efforts of the many Chesapeake Bay Program partners and inform different individuals and organizations across the watershed.
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership of federal, state and local governments, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations that lead and direct the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and it’s 64,000 square mile watershed. Guided by the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, Chesapeake Bay Program partners use 10 interrelated goals and 31 outcomes to collectively advance the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
Many of these outcomes have related indicators, targets and deadlines that allow the Chesapeake Bay Program to track progress toward environmental restoration, protection and stewardship. Data and information used to track this progress come from a range of trusted sources, including government agencies, academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations and direct demographic and behavior surveys.
Determining the health of the Chesapeake Bay is as complex as the ecosystem itself. Across the watershed, rainfall, temperature and other conditions vary from month to month and year to year, which impacts the surrounding environment. Extreme weather conditions in 2018 affected Bay health in 2019. Record rainfall led to the highest amount of freshwater flows entering the Bay since monitoring began in 1937, leading to lower salinity levels in parts of the Bay and contributing to the largest observed dead zone in the past five years.
“Extreme weather events, including record high freshwater flows, usually have a negative impact on the Bay’s living resources,” said Scott Phillips, Chesapeake Bay coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey and co-chair, Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific, Technical Assessment and Reporting Team. “However, while the record river flow, and associated nutrients, contributed to worsening dissolved-oxygen conditions, underwater grasses held steady and blue crab populations increased. The collective restoration efforts being carried out by the Chesapeake Bay Program are improving the ecosystem and making it more resilient to extreme weather events.”
- Blue Crab Abundance: The 2019 Bay-wide winter dredge survey suggests the population of blue crabs increased nearly 60%, from 372 million in 2018 to 594 million in 2019.
- Blue Crab Management: According to the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee, an estimated 23% of the female blue crab population was harvested in 2018. For the 11th consecutive year, this number is below the 25.5% target and the 34% overfishing threshold. Therefore, the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population is not considered depleted or overfished.
- Oysters: During the summer of 2019, Maryland selected the Manokin River as the tenth and final tributary for large-scale oyster restoration, joining four other sites in Maryland and five in Virginia. According to the 2018 Maryland Oyster Restoration Update, 773 acres of oyster reefs have been restored in the Choptank Complex—which includes Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River and the Tred Avon River—and 510 acres of oyster reefs have been restored in Virginia, with reef construction and seeding in the Lafayette River now complete.
- Underwater Grasses (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, or SAV): In 2018, an estimated 91,559 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. While this acreage is less than the previous year, it is likely that substantially more underwater grasses grew in the Bay and its tidal tributaries than the mapped acreage suggests. Frequent rain, cloudy water and security restrictions prevented researchers from successfully collecting aerial imagery over 22% of the Bay. Researchers are working to supplement this aerial imagery with satellite imagery to ascertain a better estimate of the grasses in 2018. Using 2017 levels for the unmapped areas, it’s possible that the Bay may have supported up to 108,960 acres of underwater grasses in 2018, which would have been a four percent increase from 2017 figures and 59% of the partnership’s 185,000-acre goal.
In 2019, the Chesapeake Bay Program took a big step forward in improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways. Each of the seven Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdictions submitted their Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), which detail how they plan to meet their pollutant reduction goals set by the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. These actions will help ensure Bay water quality is healthy enough for the plant and aquatic species that depend on it for survival (e.g. blue crabs, oysters, underwater grasses).
“The role of land conservation, forest cover and public engagement easily gets lost in the challenges of nutrient reductions and program agreements,” said Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “Yet when we look at solutions for our conservation challenges, this work emerges as critical--riparian buffers, conserved forest land, and green infrastructure will play a big role in addressing the bay ecosystem’s resiliency and pollution absorbing capacity.”
- Protected Lands: According to data collected through early 2019, nearly 1.36 million acres of land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have been permanently protected since 2010. This marks an achievement of 68% of the land conservation goal adopted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and brings the total amount of protected land in the watershed to 9.16 million acres.
- Watershed Implementation Plans: During the period 2017-2018, pollution reducing practices are in place across the Chesapeake Bay watershed to achieve 39% of the nitrogen reductions and 77% of the phosphorus reductions necessary to attain applicable water quality standards as compared to the 2009 baseline established under the Bay TMDL. For the short-term, 55% of these nitrogen load reductions came from the agricultural sector. Pollution controls put in place between 2009 and 2018 have lowered nitrogen loads by 10% and phosphorus loads by 13%, which can mainly be attributed to upgrades to wastewater treatment plants.
The long-term success of the Bay restoration effort depends on the individuals and organizations that live, work and play in the region. The Chesapeake Bay Program supports environmental stewardship in all forms: increasing public access to the water, expanding the environmental literacy of all students, engaging underserved communities, increasing the diversity of those working on environmental issues and expanding the ability of local government leaders to promote restoration activities.
“Think globally, act locally, when practiced by Bay jurisdictions, is exactly what it takes to improve water quality in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,” said Penny Gross, member of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Committee. “When local governments and their residents and businesses take the appropriate steps to clean up local streams and waterways, returning them to fishable and swimmable sites, the positive effect on the Bay is measurable. Small, specific steps turn into giant leaps, but there is much more to be done, and local governments are leading the way.”
- Public Access: Between 2010 and 2018, 176 boat ramps, fishing piers and other public access sites were opened on and around the Chesapeake Bay. This marks a 59% achievement of the goal to add 300 new access sites to the watershed by 2025 and brings the total number of access sites in the region to 1,315.
The data found in the Bay Barometer reflect the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed over the course of many years, and in some cases, decades. The publication offers a snapshot of the best available information from 2018 and 2019 on ecological health and our efforts to protect and restore the nation’s largest estuary. The most up-to-date indicators can be viewed on ChesapeakeProgress as soon as they are available. ChesapeakeProgress is the Chesapeake Bay Program’s one-stop shop for the most current information on the progress made toward the goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
October 15, 2019
NFWF Announces Nearly $13 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 nearly $12.7 million in grants to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in six U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The 47 grants will generate nearly $21 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $33.5 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, and the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership.
Grant recipients were announced at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and School in Essex, (Baltimore County) Maryland, where a 2017 Stewardship Fund grant to the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy supported installation of stormwater and green infrastructure improvements.
“To keep the health of the Chesapeake Bay on a positive trajectory requires all of us working together through cost-effective projects that protect shorelines and wetlands, control pollution and restore or sustain local fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who attended the grant announcement event in Essex. “The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund enables local governments to design and implement projects that will work best for their communities.”
“Protecting the Chesapeake Bay isn’t just a priority, it’s an obligation,” said U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. “As an Appropriator, I was on the ground floor fighting for these critical funds, and I am proud to have helped increase the pot of resources we have available for our mighty Chesapeake Bay stewards. These grants will help them help us ensure the Bay is healthy enough to continue supporting our region’s economy and enriching the quality of life of Marylanders for generations to come.”
The projects supported by the 47 grants announced today will support methods to improve waterways, restore habitats 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, businesses and municipalities in on-the-ground restoration that supports quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and, ultimately, the health of the Bay.
“EPA is pleased to invest in people, partnerships and projects that improve the quality of local waters and habitat, and help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said. “It is a priority for EPA to support local actions that move us closer to our restoration goals.
The INSR Program awarded more than $6.7 million to seven projects, with recipients providing more than $12.4 million in match. The program provides grants to accelerate the implementation of water quality improvements specifically through the collaborative and coordinated efforts of sustainable, regional-scale partnerships with a shared focus on water quality restoration and protection in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
“The grants announced today will support on-the-ground conservation efforts that benefit people and wildlife throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants will help local communities and conservation partners restore and protect rivers and streams, improving water quality and the ecological health of the Bay.”
The SWG Program awarded more than $5.9 million to 40 projects, with recipients providing more than $8.3 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. This year’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant recipients include:
- Maryland Department of Agriculture ($996,565) will engage 150 producers through outreach, education and technical assistance to implement improved conservation tillage, expanded cover crop practices, application of precision nutrient management, and increased prescribed grazing practices. Project will also expand Maryland’s Healthy Soils Program.
- Gunpowder Valley Conservancy ($200,000) will conduct behavior change strategies to increase implementation of stormwater best management practices in Baltimore County. Project will install 125 rain barrels, 30 rain gardens, 12 micro-bioretention practices, eight Bayscapes, 24 Bay-Wise certified yards, and 30 stream cleanup events resulting in the protection and improvement of 24 acres
- Trout Unlimited Home Rivers Initiative ($192,540) will restore, reconnect and enhance aquatic habitat within stronghold patches of eastern brook trout. The project will implement aquatic organism passage (AOP) barrier mitigation and riparian restoration in priority watersheds, deliver an AOP barrier mitigation plan to county roads department staff, and incorporate community and student volunteers into restoration and monitoring on public and private lands in western Maryland.
A complete list of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund 2019 grants winners is available here.
Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $91.4 million to 183 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 1999, the SWG Program has provided more than $62 million to support 885 projects in the region to protect and restore the natural resources of the Bay watershed.
For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund or to download the 2018 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 $5.3 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
September 05, 2019
Chesapeake Executive Council reaffirms commitment to restoring Bay
Representatives from the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gathered today in Oxon Hill, Maryland for the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council.
Established over 35 years ago, the Chesapeake Executive Council, is responsible for guiding the policy agenda and setting conservation and restoration goals for the regional, watershed partnership, the Chesapeake Bay Program. 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.
The message echoed throughout today’s meeting was a resounding call for all partners to recommit to the goals set under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement to ensure the entire watershed keeps moving toward a sustainable future.
“EPA will continue to support the Bay watershed states, the District of Columbia and our many partners involved in restoring the Bay and improving water quality,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Together, we have made significant progress, and we are committed to continuing that progress as we implement the next critical phase of work.”
Each of the six watershed states and the District of Columbia recently submitted their final Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), which lay out the strategy each plan to take by 2025 in order to meet their targets for reducing pollution. During the meeting, each member spoke about some of the more innovative ways they plan to meet these goals.
"In just the last year, Virginia has made significant progress in meeting our conservation and restoration goals,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. “Working with scientists, policy experts and a wide range of stakeholders, we have designed a bold and comprehensive roadmap that not only enables Virginia to fulfill its commitment to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, but also fully addresses the increased pollution caused by development and climate change. I look forward to continuing close collaboration with our federal and state watershed partners to execute an effective Bay cleanup effort, ensuring that future generations can continue to benefit from our vast waterways.”
Queen Richardson, a RiverSmart Homes program assistant with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, captivated the Council with her personal story of how she took advantage of many of the District’s green job training programs and turned the skills she acquired into a career. The District of Columbia, just across the Potomac River from today’s meeting, hopes to make long-lasting environmental contributions by investing in their residents through green job training programs.
“When we restore our streams, wetlands and shorelines, and reduce polluted runoff, we create economic opportunities for our residents and businesses and make our city more resilient to the impacts of climate change”, said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The District’s clean up strategy is about investing in our infrastructure and in our people and making sure we’re doing our part to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.”
Today’s meeting also addressed some of the challenges facing the 35-year old partnership. Skip Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch, spoke about the need accelerate progress in restoring wetlands and planting more trees, especially riparian buffers, to help meet water quality goals. He also noted that these actions would help better prepare the region to face a changing climate.
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.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was elected as chair for a third term and the Council heard remarks from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s three Advisory Committees, who represent citizens, local governments and the scientific and technical interests from across the watershed.
“I am incredibly honored to have been reelected to serve as chair of this Executive Council for the year ahead, and I believe very strongly that if we continue to embrace a spirit of bipartisan cooperation, we can, and we will, find real, commonsense solutions to protect the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “This partnership stands at a critical juncture, with seven revised jurisdictional plans and the goal of clean water in sight. After three decades of collaboration with our federal and regional partners, we are witnessing significant improvements toward clean water and increased resiliency, but there is much more work to be done.”
August 13, 2019
Manokin River chosen for oyster restoration
The Chesapeake Bay Program is pleased to announce that the Manokin River has been selected as the tenth Chesapeake Bay tributary for large-scale oyster reef restoration. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement calls for the restoration of the native oyster population in 10 tributaries by 2025—and the Manokin River is the final tributary to be selected for this Chesapeake Bay Program partnership effort.
The Manokin River joins four other large-scale Maryland oyster restoration sites: Harris Creek and the Little Choptank, Tred Avon and Upper St. Mary’s rivers. Situated off Tangier Sound, along Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Manokin River is over 16,000 acres and has been an oyster sanctuary area since 2010.
In addition to the Maryland sites, large-scale oyster restoration is also taking place in five locations in Virginia: Great Wicomico, Lafayette, Lower York, Lynnhaven and Piankatank rivers.
July 24, 2019
Chesapeake Bay Program reports slight decline in underwater grass abundance
In 2018, an estimated 91,559 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. While this acreage is less than the previous year, it is likely that substantially more submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) grew in the Bay than the mapped acreage suggests: frequent rain, cloudy water and security restrictions prevented researchers from successfully collecting aerial imagery over the Potomac River near the Patuxent Air Base, as well as portions of the Susquehanna Flats, Mattaponi, Middle, Choptank and Honga rivers, and Fishing Bay (representing over 22% of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries).
If we consider the acreage of grasses that these unmapped portions of the Bay supported in 2017, the estimated total for 2018 could be as high as 108,960 acres. This would be an increase from the previous total, which was the highest amount of underwater grasses ever recorded in the Bay since monitoring began over 30 years ago—breaking 100,000 acres for the first time.
Experts are encouraged by this news, as it’s likely that the actual expanse of underwater grasses in 2018 ranged between 91,559 and 108,960 acres. The growth and survival of underwater grasses are sensitive to the impacts that extreme weather conditions have on Bay water quality. In the past, underwater grass populations have taken several years to recover from the effects of hurricanes or high temperature events. With the record-breaking rainfall observed by most of the Chesapeake region in 2018, experts were concerned over how the grasses would fare: the persistence of underwater grasses seen last year suggests increasing resilience to such stresses, an indication that the restoration actions taken by the Chesapeake Bay Program and its many partners are working.
Experts attribute the presence of widgeon grass in the moderately and very salty regions of the Bay to be responsible for the steady underwater grass abundance. However, widgeon grass is a “boom and bust” species whose abundance can rise and fall sharply from year to year. A widgeon grass-dominated spike in one year can be a positive response to good conditions for growth and reproduction while survival between years is sensitive to changes in water quality such as conditions resulting from the impacts of extreme weather events.
Underwater grass abundance can vary from species to species and river to river. In 2018, local highlights included:
- Upper Central Chesapeake Bay: Approximately 272 acres of underwater grasses were observed throughout the upper central portion of the Chesapeake Bay in 2017, and in 2018, this figure rose to over 457 acres: an increase of 68%. Numerous species of grasses have been found in this area, including: widgeon grass, redhead grass, sago pondweed, horned pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, wild celery, common waterweed, curly pondweed, hydrilla and coontail.
- Patapsco River: The Patapsco River noted over 14 acres of grasses in 2017; in 2018, this figure rose to over 30 acres, an increase of approximately 114%. In the mid-2000s, local restoration projects in Shallow Creek at the mouth of the Patapsco River helped contribute to the increase of grasses, which continue to remain steady today.
- Upper Rappahannock River: In 2017, over 562 acres of grasses were mapped in the Upper Rappahannock River, and in 2018, that figure rose to 837 acres, an increase of over 48%. Researchers have found several types of grasses in this portion of the Rappahannock, including coontail, hydrilla, naiads, common waterweed and wild celery.
- Smith and Tangier Islands: Underwater grass abundance in Tangier Sound increased over 18% from 2017 to 2018. Over 21,504 acres of grasses were mapped in 2017, while approximately 25,340 acres were noted in 2018. The underwater grasses that stretch from Smith Island to Tangier Island make up the largest contiguous grass bed in the Bay. Widgeon grass dominates the area, but eelgrass can also be found.
August 26, 2019
2019 Chesapeake Executive Council Meeting
On Thursday, September 5, 2019, 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. The council, established by the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983, meets on an annual basis.
During the meeting, the council will acknowledge the recent completion of their Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans and recommit to meeting the goals set forth under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay, as well as their local waterways. Each member of the Executive Council will have the opportunity to give remarks and hear updates from citizen, local government and scientific and technical representatives.
For more detailed information as it becomes available, visit the 2019 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 Tawanna Gaines, Chair, Chesapeake Bay Commission
- The Honorable Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- The Honorable Austin Caperton, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, State of West Virginia
- The Honorable Shawn M. Garvin, Secretary, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, State of Delaware
- The Honorable Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- The Honorable Jim Tierney, Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, State of New York
- The Honorable Rashad Young, City Administrator, District of Columbia
- The Honorable Richard Fordyce, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Meeting & Press Event: Oxon Hill Manor
- Address: 6901 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
- Thursday, September 5, 2019
- Public Poster and Video Session: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
- Public Meeting and Press Conference: 12:35 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
- All are welcome to attend the public meeting.
PLEASE RSVP BY 8/30/19: Rachel Felver, firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 267-5740
March 28, 2019
Annual report continues to show improvements in Bay health
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 (2017 – 2018) on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 3:00 p.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 10:00 a.m. ET on April 2.
- Dana Aunkst, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Jennifer Dopkowski, Acting Coordinator, Climate Resiliency Workgroup, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
- Brooke Landry, Chair, SAV Workgroup, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Peter Tango, Coordinator, Scientific, Technical Assessment and Reporting Workgroup, U.S. Geological Survey
- Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. ET
- Call (202) 991-0477; Code: 903-7008
Rachel Felver, Director of Communications, Chesapeake Bay Program
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
(410) 267-5740, email@example.com
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.
Photos: Images from around the Bay watershed, including crabs, oysters, forest buffers, wetlands and more.
RSS: Feed of recent press releases.