On December 9, 2003, Bay restoration leaders held the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement.
At the meeting, the Executive Council announced several Bay restoration initiatives for improving water quality, protecting native species and increasing Bay restoration funding:
- A new 10,000-mile forest buffer restoration goal will help protect riparian forest buffers along the streams and rivers that feed the Bay.
- A new submerged aquatic vegetation restoration strategy will aim to restore 185,000 acres of underwater grasses in the Bay.
- An amendment to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan will include new harvest targets and thresholds to ensure the long-term health of the Bay's blue crabs.
- A Blue Ribbon Financing Panel will work with regional business and political leaders to find the billion dollars needed to improve water quality and protect the future of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Executive Council includes the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Representatives of the Bay's headwater states, Delaware, New York and West Virginia, joined the Executive Council for the first time in this annual meeting.
News Release and Meeting Materials:
- The Chesapeake Bay Program: 20 Years of Progress Remaining Challenges
- Amendment 1: 1997 Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan
- Directive 03-01: Expanded Riparian Forest Buffer Goals
- Directive 03-02: Meeting the Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Goals
- Adoption Statement on Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Amendment
- Bay Leaders Mark Twentieth Anniversary by Forming Financing Panel, Strengthening Goals and Strategies
- Annual Meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council
- Recommendations for the 2003 Adoptions Statement of Expanded Riparian Forest Buffer Goals in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
- Adoption Statement on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
- Strategy to Accelerate the Protection and Restoration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay