The Chesapeake Executive Council met on November 20, 2008 at Union Station in Washington, D.C., to announce plans to set new milestones for Bay restoration, request support for the Bay from the President-elect, pursue development of next-generation biofuels in the Chesapeake region and increase partner accountability for restoration of the Bay and its watershed.
Led by outgoing chairman Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and incoming chairman Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, the Executive Council adopted a new strategy to speed up the pace of Bay restoration and become more accountable by setting two-year milestones to reduce pollution to the Bay and its rivers. The new two-year milestones will:
- Focus the Bay Program partnership on achieving short-term goals that will intensify restoration efforts.
- Be set and announced in spring 2009, when the most current scientific data about pollution levels becomes available through the annual Health and Restoration Assessment.
- Lead up to an overall deadline for Bay restoration, which will also be set in spring 2009.
In addition to the new two-year restoration milestones, the Executive Council announced:
- Progress toward completing the Chesapeake TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load), a federal pollution budget that will be the largest of its kind in the nation. (Read more about the Chesapeake TMDL)
- A request to the President-elect and 111th Congress to support legislative measures to accelerate Chesapeake restoration.
- Plans to position the Chesapeake region as a leader in the production of next-generation biofuels. (Read the Executive Council Biofuels Directive.)
- Bay Program partners’ progress on the “champion” roles they selected at the 2007 Executive Council meeting. (Read more about the champion roles.)
- Plans for an independent scientific evaluator to help improve the Bay Program’s effectiveness.
- Support for Chesapeake Bay FieldScope, a National Geographic education project.
Participating in the 2008 Executive Council meeting were executives from the six Bay states, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.