Publication date: April 2nd, 2019 in Agreement
Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (2017-2018)
The data in Bay Barometer reflect the Chesapeake Bay’s health over the course of many years and, in some cases, decades. The publication offers a snapshot of the best available information from 2017 and 2018 on ecological health and our efforts to protect and restore the nation’s largest estuary, as well as our progress toward achieving the goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.Download
Publication date: June 27th, 2018 in Report
CBSAC 2018 Blue Crab Advisory Report
Annual report published by the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee on the status of the blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay and management advice for Bay jurisdictions.Download
Publication date: January 11th, 2018 in Report
Holistically Analyzing the Benefits of Green Infrastructure
Changes in the regulatory landscape, coupled with budget-constrained environments, are driving local governments to search for new or evolving strategies and investments that deliver more value than conventional stormwater management practices.
In light of this challenge, green infrastructure (GI) is getting more attention as a stormwater management strategy. GI is described as a more holistic and multifunctional approach to stormwater management that can deliver benefits across the triple bottom line, mitigate water quality impacts, improve quality of life and enhance climate resiliency (US EPA, 2015).
The list of direct and indirect benefits arising from GI is fairly consistent across sources, but the scale and value of these benefits are not. Careful examination of peer-reviewed published literature, combined with existing guidance documents and studies, provide options for quantifying and monetizing the wide array of GI benefits. The various sources are diverse. They employ different valuation and assessment methodologies. Existing resources do not provide a unifying framework or standardization. Consequently, the methods require multi-disciplinary technical knowledge (engineering, economic and bio-physical) that stormwater managers do not generally have.
This document is intended for smaller local governments with stormwater programs that are responsible for regulatory compliance with municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) obligations (e.g., Phase 2 communities). It outlines an approach to holistically evaluate the benefits of implementing green infrastructure. The guidance places emphasis on first understanding the goal and scope for assessing benefits. It uses the goal and scope to step the user through: (1) differentiating between direct benefits and co-benefits of GI, and (2) understanding when and how these benefits need to be characterized, quantified or monetized. This document is not intended to be a “how to” measure benefits for conducting benefit-cost analysis, but rather anapproach to tailor benefits and co-benefits identification and description to inform decision making and stakeholder engagement.
The report is organized into three sections with attachments.
- The first section introduces the concept of green infrastructure and describes some of the most common GI practices.
- The second section discusses the range of benefits and co-benefits often attributed to GI.
- The third section outlines an approach to assessing the benefits.
- Finally, the attachments provide case studies that illustrate how this guidance can be used.
Publication date: January 4th, 2018 in Report
Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (2016-2017)
The data in Bay Barometer reflect the Chesapeake Bay’s health over the course of many years and, in some cases, decades. The publication offers a snapshot of the best available information from 2016 and 2017 on ecological health and our efforts to protect and restore the nation’s largest estuary, as well as our progress toward achieving the goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.Download
Publication date: October 27th, 2017 in Report
2017 CAC Report to the Executive Council
2017 CAC Report to the Executive CouncilVisit Link
Publication date: July 18th, 2017 in Report
Healthy Watersheds Forest Retention Studies
The Healthy Watersheds/Forest project is a Virginia-led, multi-year, landscape-scale effort begun in 2015 that is now in nearing completion in phase III. The goal of this project was to research and pilot alternative methods for forest and agricultural land conservation through three separate phases. Phase 1 modeled and tested alternative land use growth scenarios in a portion of the Rappahannock River Basin as a proxy for the Chesapeake Bay watershed by employing the methodology used by EPA TMDL modelers and using real land use data from the localities in the test area to determine the potential value of a BMP in the TMDL model for retaining forestland. In Phase II, Pennsylvania partnered with Virginia to determine what from the perspective of local leaders were the economic and policy incentives needed to prioritize forestland retention as a land use planning option. Phase III developed and piloted the community policy and financial infrastructure necessary to facilitate high quality forest and agricultural land conservation/retention on a sustainable, landscape scale basis. Phase III was divided into two tasks. Task 1 focused on collaborating with the municipal authorities responsible for the plans, policies and ordinances in the two pilot counties. Task 2 focused on developing a transferable financial model in the pilot counties to incentivize private capital markets to invest in the retention of forest and agricultural lands to offset future forecasted growth and development based on the 6.0 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) model. The ultimate goal has been to create a favorable regulatory environment and incentives for private landowner participation in land conservation while also contributing to the funding requirements of counties to help them meet basic services for their citizenry through a model that can attract private sector financial interest at a scale required to achieve the Phase III goal. This Phase III report covers the research, findings and activities from the start of phase III in April 2018 through September 30, 2019, the end-date for the Chesapeake Bay Trust-funded grant period. The focus of the project team from this point forward to the end the project next Spring (with additional funding from the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities) will be on (1) designing and testing in collaboration with Orange County Virginia, the Economic Development Authority infrastructure required to aggregate landowner interests effectively, and (2) further engaging with the private financial sector to solicit its interest in participating in the Virginia approach, while refining the financial options to best meet landowner, locality and investor needs.
You can read the final reports for each phase here:Download
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