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Scope and Purpose

The sense of place that evolves from outdoor experiences along the waters of the Bay region often leads to a feeling of shared responsibility for the resources. People who enjoy the outdoors are more likely to become active citizen stewards, engaged in the many conservation and stewardship efforts taking place throughout the region. Despite this, physical access to the Bay and its tributaries—the very resources that form the basis for the Chesapeake’s unique identity—is limited. This has real consequences for quality of life, for the economy, and for long-term conservation.

In 2010, the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, issued in response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13508, calls for “expanding public access to the Bay and its tributaries through existing and new local, state and federal parks, refuges, reserves, trails and partner sites.” It includes a key outcome to increase public access to the Bay and its tributaries by adding 300 new public access sites by 2025.

In 2014, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement was signed. The Agreement reaffirmed and the public access goal and outcome contained in the Executive Order Strategy and included the identical goal and outcome commitment to increase public access by 300 sites by 2015.

The Public Access Planning Action Team supports the implementation of the Agreement and Executive Order public access goal and outcome. This team, coordinated by the National Park Service, includes representation from federal, state, local, and non-profit partners responsible for and committed to public access development.

Publications

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan - Executive Summary

The Chesapeake Bay and the major rivers are the region’s ecological and cultural lifeblood. They are the primary features that have shaped human habitation for millennia.

The very resource that means Chesapeake or Susquehanna or Potomac to the world has become one that is hard for many people to reach. Year after year, residents of the Chesapeake watershed repeat the refrain: access to the water is too limited. Citizens want more places along the water where they can walk, sit, play, picnic, camp, swim, fish, watch wildlife and put in their canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and powerboats. It is important to their quality of life.

This Chesapeake Watershed Public Access Plan responds to this need. The plan is a product of the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, developed in response to Executive Order 13508. The strategy aims to increase public access to the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries by adding 300 new public access sites by 2025. It calls for the National Park Service in conjunction with watershed states to “develop a public access plan to inform and guide expansion of Chesapeake watershed public access.” This plan serves that purpose.

The plan was produced by a Public Access Action Team, which includes people involved in public access planning and implementation in each of the Chesapeake watershed states and the District of Columbia and the National Park Service. The plan:

  • Summarizes the demand for public access in the Chesapeake watershed
  • Outlines the process, steps, and definitions used for developing this plan
  • Establishes the baseline of existing public access sites
  • Depicts specific potential public access sites that can could be developed in the future, as well as areas and stretches requiring additional attention
  • Describes planning challenges to be considered in adding new access sites
  • Summarizes findings and sets out next steps for implementing the plan and increasing access

Questions about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan can be directed to John Davy, National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay Office.

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Watershed Agreement

Public Access Goal

Members

Jackie Kramer (Chair), National Park Service (NPS)
Address:
410 Severn Avenue
Suite 314
Annaoplis, Maryland 21403

Email:  Jackie_Kramer@nps.gov
Phone:  (717) 792-0556
Britt Slattery (Coordinator), Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team Coordinator, National Park Service (NPS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Britt_Slattery@nps.gov
Scott Bollinger, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Address:
1601 Elmerton Avenue
PO Box 67000
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17106

Email:  scbollinge@pa.gov
Phone:  (717) 346-8196
Erik Zlokovitz, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Address:
580 Taylor Ave
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Erik.Zlokovitz@maryland.gov
Phone:  (410) 260-8324
Andy Fitch, Geospatial Systems Analyst, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  afitch@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-9835
Lisa Gutierrez, Director of Boating Facility and Access Planning, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Address:
Tawes State Office Building
580 Taylor Avenue
Annaoplis, Maryland 21401

Email:  lgutierrez@dnr.state.md.us
Phone:  (410) 260-8778
Mark Hohengasser, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Address:
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 1
Albany, Newyork 12238

Email:  Mark.Hohengasser@parks.ny.gov
Phone:  (518) 486-2909
Kelly Rossiter, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR)
Address:
400 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105

Email:  krossiter@pa.gov
Phone:  (717) 772-3319
Jackie Kramer, National Park Service (NPS)
Address:
410 Severn Avenue
Suite 314
Annaoplis, Maryland 21403

Email:  Jackie_Kramer@nps.gov
Phone:  (717) 792-0556
Michael Krumrine, Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation
Address:
89 Kings Highway
Dover, Delaware 19901

Email:  Michael.Krumrine@state.de.us
Phone:  (302) 739-9243
Tammy Stidham, Regional GIS Specialist, National Park Service (NPS)
Address:
NPS-NCR, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
1100 Ohio Drive SW Rm. 136
Washington, Districtofcolumbia 20242

Email:  tammy_stidham@nps.gov
Phone:  (202) 619-7474
David Whitehurst, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
Address:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
PO Box 11104
Richmond, Virginia 23230

Email:  david.whitehurst@dgif.virginia.gov
Phone:  (804) 367-0940
Charlie Stek, Environmental Stewardship Strategies
Address:
18611 Mink Hallow Rd
Highland, Maryland 20777

Email:  charliestek@gmail.com
Phone:  (301) 774-4405
Robbie Rhur, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Address:
600 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-2094

Email:  robbie.rhur@dcr.virginia.gov
Phone:  (804) 371-2594
Marcia Pradines, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Address:
828 Airpax Rd
Cambridge, Maryland 21613

Email:  marcia_pradines@fws.gov
Brandon Keplinger, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Address:
24 4th Avenue
South charleston, Westvirginia 25303

Email:  Brandon.j.keplinger@wv.gov
Phone:  (304) 822-3551
Amy Handen, Local Implementation Programs Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  handen.amy@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5793
Jake Whalen, Fisheries Manager, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Address:
1 Depot Street
Romney, Westvirginia 26757

Email:  Jake.M.Whalen@wv.gov
Kendra Pednault, Project Leader, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Address:
336 Wilna Road
Warsaw, Virginia 22572

Email:  kendra_pednault@fws.gov
Mike Bednarski, Chief of Fisheries, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
Address:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
P.O. Box 90778
Henrico, Virginia 23228

Email:  Mike.Bednarski@dgif.virginia.gov
Phone:  (804) 367-6878