Expand public access to the Bay and its tributaries through existing and new local, state and federal parks, refuges, reserves, trails and partner sites.
Physical access to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries is very limited, with real consequences for quality of life, local economies and long-term conservation. Increasing public access to local waterways for fishing, swimming, boating and other activities fosters a shared sense of responsibility and increased stewardship that supports watershed restoration goals.
Public Access Site Development
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is rapidly urbanizing. More than eleven million people live in metropolitan areas, but few have the chance to interact with the region’s waters, forests and open lands. Despite this trend—or perhaps because of it—residents increasingly seek opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Multiple studies continue to document this high public demand for public access points, and meeting this demand will foster a feeling of shared responsibility for the region’s resources among its residents.
Outcome: By 2025, add 300 new public access sites, with a strong emphasis on providing opportunities for boating, swimming and fishing, where feasible.
Lead Goal Implementation Team: Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team (GIT 5)
Lead Workgroup: Public Access Planning Team
Contact: Amy Handen (410) 260-2493
Management Strategy: Public Access Management Strategy (pdf)
Work Plan: 2018-2019 Public Access (pdf)