October 18, 2022

In March 2021, the Principals’ Staff Committee (PSC) requested a study and recommendations on how to improve Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) monitoring networks. The monitoring networks include (1) CBP core networks supported primarily by EPA Chesapeake Bay Program funding, and (2) partnership networks supported by multiple federal and state agencies. The monitoring review was guided by leadership from the CBP Scientific, Technical Assessment and Reporting (STAR) team, the CBPO Monitoring Team, with input from the CBP Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) leadership.

The report is organized into 4 major sections:
• Section 1: Chesapeake Bay Program Network Portfolios. Provides a summary of the existing CBP core networks (most with a focus on water quality) with recommendations and potential investments to address development, maintenance and improvement of these networks.
• Section 2: Chesapeake Bay Agreement Goals and Outcomes Monitoring Needs. Summarizes the partner-led monitoring and broader needs of the 10 goals and associated outcomes in the 2014 Watershed Agreement.
• Section 3: Partnership Opportunities to Enhance Chesapeake Bay Program Monitoring. Provides potential approaches for partners to collaborate on addressing the vast number of monitoring data needs to support decision-making requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.
• Section 4: Principals’ Staff Committee Charge to the Monitoring Review Team and Foundational Assessment Results. Provides an overview of methodology used to conduct the monitoring program assessment for the Principal’s Staff Committee request and details of input from the collective monitoring representatives to inform the information in the previous sections of the report.

Key Findings
1) Monitoring is critical to assess progress towards meeting goals and outcomes of
the 2014 Watershed Agreement.
2) Monitoring is insufficient for many CBP outcomes.
3) Opportunities for enhancing the networks exist but funding is a challenge.

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