Chesapeake Bay Executive Order
Protection and Restoration

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Federal agencies continue Chesapeake Bay restoration progress

May 14 2014

The Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay issued a combined report highlighting both achievements from Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) as well plans for ongoing restoration activities for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14). The committee, comprised of the senior officials of the federal agencies responsible for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, issues the report annual as required by Executive Order 13508, Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.

The Federal Leadership Committee (FLC) for the Chesapeake Bay is composed of representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation

The report examines federal agency efforts to restore clean water, recover habitat, sustain fish and wildlife, and conserve land and increase public access throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed – none of which would be possible without a continued commitment to working with state partners, stakeholders and citizens around the watershed.

These combined actions also support efforts to expand citizen stewardship, develop environmental markets, respond to climate change, and strengthen science, all in an effort to restore the Bay’s vibrant ecosystem for future generations.

"This report shows federal agencies are making great progress in restoring our 'national treasure' the Chesapeake Bay, and are committed to continuing that work." said DiPasquale. "Active federal agency participation through development of the new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement is further integrating federal and state restoration efforts through the advancement of shared goals and outcomes."

View the full report here.

Eighteen New Public Access Sites Created in Chesapeake Region in 2012

July 16 2013
In 2012, Chesapeake Bay Program partners added eighteen new public access locations along the region’s waterways for public use and enjoyment, bringing the total number to 1,171 across the watershed.  Public access goals set through the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed called for adding 300 new sites where citizens can have a waterside experience, whether hiking, paddling, swimming, or fishing.  These eighteen new public access sites count towards meeting the goal of 300 new sites by 2025.  

Collaborative work to improve public access in the Chesapeake watershed is coordinated by the National Park Service and a Public Access Planning Action Team which includes staff from six states and the District of Columbia. The team developed a Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan with public participation in a series of regional meetings and also via an online tool to pinpoint locations of suggested access.
 
Read more or find public access sites on the Chesapeake Bay Program website.
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Corps of Engineers releases Native Oyster Restoration Action Plan

February 14 2013

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia, along with their shared partners, has finalized the Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan. The master plan outlines the Corps’ strategy for large-scale oyster restoration throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Since the turn of the 20th century, oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay have declined dramatically, largely due to disease, overharvesting, loss of habitat, and degraded water quality. The long-term goal is to restore an abundant, self-sustaining oyster population that performs important ecological functions such as providing reef community habitat, nutrient cycling, spatial connectivity, and water filtration, among others, and contributes to the oyster fishery. The master plan will serve as a foundation, along with plans developed by other federal agencies, to work towards achieving the oyster restoration outcome established by the Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration Executive Order (E.O. 13508) to restore native oyster habitat and populations in 20 tributaries by 2025. 

A draft version of the master plan was released for public comment in the spring of 2012, and the Corps hosted a series of public meetings to provide members of the community a chance to learn more about the master plan and oyster restoration opportunities, as well as provide input on the master plan.

The public meetings elicited a variety of comments that were taken into consideration when finalizing the master plan. Changes included the division of some of the larger tributaries into smaller segments, updates to cost projections, and the addition of the Elizabeth River into the evaluation.

To view the Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan, please visit: http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/OysterRestoration/OysterMasterPlan.aspx

Specific tributary plans recommended by the Corps’ master plan are currently being developed in coordination with the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the, The Nature Conservancy, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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Federal Agencies release Technical Report on Toxic Contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed

January 16 2013

A final report is available that summarizes existing information on the extent and severity of the occurrence of toxic contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.  The report also identifies research and monitoring gaps that could be considered to improve the understanding of the extent and severity of toxic contaminant occurrence.  Findings in this report will be used during 2013 by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to consider whether to adopt new goals for reducing inputs of toxic contaminants entering the Bay and watershed. Strategies for achieving any established goals will be developed by 2015.

The findings in this report are based on a review of integrated water-quality assessment reports from the jurisdictions in the Bay watershed (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.), Federal and State reports, and articles in scientific journals.  The authors focused on summarizing results of studies conducted mostly since 2000 and, in particular, the 2010 jurisdictional water-quality assessment reports were used to define the extent and severity of occurrence of the following contaminant groups:

  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Dioxins and Furans
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Petroleum Hydrocarbons
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household and Personal Care Products
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
  • Biogenic Hormones
  • Metals and Metalloids

Download the report (6 MB .pdf file).



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Federal partners outline planned actions for 2013 to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay

December 18 2012

The Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay, comprised of the senior officials of the federal agencies responsible for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, issued their Fiscal Year 2013 Action Plan, outlining efforts projected for 2013 to continue progress toward protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

The Fiscal Year 2013 Action Plan, required by Executive Order 13508, the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, demonstrates the Federal agencies’ commitment to working together and with state partners to restore clean water, recover habitat, sustain fish and wildlife, and conserve land and increase public access throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Collaborative actions will also enhance supporting efforts to expand citizen stewardship, develop environmental markets, respond to climate change, and strengthen science. 

Download the report.

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EPA Announces ‘Clean Rivers, Green District Partnership’ With District of Columbia and DC Water

December 14 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the District of Columbia, and D.C. Water have joined in a partnership agreement to use green techniques for wet weather pollution control in the District. The “Clean Rivers, Green District” agreement outlines the collaborative steps to support green infrastructure to achieve sustainable stormwater management, more livable communities, and other environmental improvements in the District.

Learn more (542.26 kb download)

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Final Chesapeake Forest Restoration Strategy Released

December 07 2012

Forest restoration may be the single most important activity to help bring back the Chesapeake ecosystem. Forests are a critical ecosystem component that supports major Chesapeake Bay goals—clean water, healthy watersheds, wildlife habitat, fisheries, land conservation, citizen stewardship, and climate change response. For these reasons, this document was developed as a key supporting action in the 2010 Executive Order (13508) Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

During 2011-2012, the U.S. Forest Service coordinated teams with over 60 representatives from over 30 Federal, State, and nongovernmental organizations to craft the Chesapeake Forest Restoration Strategy. A draft of the Strategy was released in July 2012 for public review, and the valuable input received has been incorporated into the final document. The Strategy has been endorsed by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership and was officially released on December 5 in a signing ceremony with the U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Chesapeake Bay Program Director Nick DiPasquale, and State Foresters from the Bay jurisdictions.

Accelerating forest restoration in the Chesapeake will require collaboration among partners in a broad network—Federal and State agencies, local governments, watershed and community organizations, and private partners. The Strategy’s sections advance innovative and collaborative approaches to targeting restoration in areas of greatest opportunity and benefit, focusing on wildlife and fisheries habitat, mine lands, agroforestry, urban and community forestry, and contaminated lands such as brownfields. The Strategy builds on earlier commitments by the Chesapeake Bay States and Federal partners to restore streamside forested buffers at a rate of 900 miles per year and support community tree canopy expansion goals. To learn more and get involved in this partnership effort, please contact Sally Claggett (sclaggett@fs.fed.us) or Julie Mawhorter (jmawhorter@fs.fed.us) of the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forestry program.

Download the report (35 mb)

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Draft Model Program to Assist State Septic Programs in Managing Water Quality Impacts in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

November 15 2012

EPA is releasing a draft Model Program for Onsite Programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for public comment. The draft provides technical information regarding the elements of a model program for onsite wastewater treatment systems that incorporates key recommendations for the effective and efficient management of onsite nitrogen treatment systems. The document is part of EPA’s effort to collaborate with state and local partners in promoting nitrogen reductions from onsite systems in support of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

This draft Model Program addresses a commitment EPA made in the Chesapeake Bay strategy and provides important technical information for those states that have incorporated improved management of onsite systems in their Watershed Implementation Plans. While targeted for the states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Model Program may be of broader interest to other states dealing with the need to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment inputs to other watersheds.

Please review the attached document and submit your comments by December 28, 2012 to: decentralized@epa.gov

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Provide Feedback on the 2013 Action Plan for Executive Order 13508: Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

November 14 2012

The federal agencies directly involved in restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay are asking for comments on the Draft Fiscal Year 2013 Action Plan (1.62 mb) as required by Executive Order 13508, the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Federal agencies included in this reports are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Interior.

The FY 2013 Action Plan includes a tangible list of efforts to be undertaken by federal agencies. While some are continuations of projects started in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, others are new initiatives that build on preparatory work completed earlier. All are designed to increase the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay and achieve the goals set forth in the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

The Action Plan highlights key work to be accomplished to restore clean water, recover habitat, sustain fish and wildlife, and conserve land and increase public access. Collaborative actions will also enhance supporting efforts to expand citizen stewardship, develop environmental markets, respond to climate change, and strengthen science.

Please provide comments (by clicking "Feedback" below and filling out the form) by COB November 27.

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National Park Service Announces FY12 Investments in Education, Youth Programs, and Outdoor Recreation in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

September 05 2012

The National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office announced today that the NPS is providing financial assistance to 21 partners and 24 projects with a combined financial commitment of $1,363,039. These projects with 21 partners in fiscal year 2012 address education, youth employment and stewardship programs, and public access and trail development in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Each project is leveraged through additional means such as matching funds, in-kind services, and volunteer hours.

In collaboration with many partners, the National Park Service works to expand public access to the Chesapeake Bay and tributary rivers, build visitor experiences along two national historic trails, develop teacher resources in line with state standards, and expand service and employment opportunities for youth. "Through partner engagement and participation, each of these projects has a positive impact in local communities," said NPS Superintendent John Maounis. "Whether teaching the history of these places, introducing young people to possible career paths, or providing a new place to get to the water, these are investments in quality of life."
   
The Chesapeake Bay Office of the National Park Service administers the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network of partner sites, and also manages two of the nation's nineteen national historic trails. Both trails are comprised of land and water routes accessible through partner sites, are in active stages of development, and offer opportunities for educators and students that are both virtual and place-based. Educational programming, training in stewardship and outdoor recreation skills, and youth employment opportunities all contribute to trail development.

Trail development and youth engagement projects also advance public access goals set through the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the federal response to President Obama's Executive Order 13508. The strategy and subsequent draft public access plan call for the addition of 300 new sites where citizens can have a waterside experience, whether hiking, paddling, enjoying a picnic, or fishing.

Below is a list of 21 partners and 24 projects supported by the National Park Service. Project summaries can be accessed through www.baygateways.net.

Star-Spangled Banner Teacher Symposium
Partner: Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier - Orange, VA
Amount: $36,006

War of 1812 in Southern Maryland: Traveling Exhibit and Traveling Trunks
Partners: Southern Maryland Heritage Area, Calvert Marine Museum, and Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum - Charles County, St. Mary's County, and Calvert County, MD
Amount: $36,000

Maryland Conservation Job Corps on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Partner: Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Prince George's County, MD
Amount: $40,000

Youth Intern, Chesapeake Youth Corps Network
Partner: Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Annapolis, MD
Amount: $25,000

Youth Workforce Training on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Partner:   Parks & People Foundation - Baltimore, MD
Amount: $60,000

Youth Intern, Chesapeake Youth Corps Network
Partner: Parks & People Foundation - Baltimore, MD
Amount: $25,000

Virginia Youth Conservation Corps on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Partner: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation - Richmond, VA
Amount: $40,000

Youth Intern, Chesapeake Youth Corps Network
Partner: James River Association - Richmond, VA
Amount: $25,000

Developing Public Water Access at Piscataway Park
Partner: Accokeek Foundation - Fort Washington, MD
Amount: $58,000

Juniata River Water Trail Access
Partner: Allegheny Ridge Corporation - Mt. Union, and Mapleton, PA
Amount: $17,065

Anacostia Kingfisher Water Trail Master Plan & Public Access Project
Partner: Anacostia Watershed Society - Bladensburg, MD
Amount: $115,000

Benedict Waterfront Village Revitalization, Phase I completion
Partner: Charles County, Maryland
Amount: $44,000

Great Bridge Lock Park Canoe/Kayak Launch
Partner: City of Chesapeake, VA, Parks and Recreation Department - Chesapeake, VA
Amount: $66,000

Mount Harmon Plantation Dock & Water Access Improvement Project
Partner: Friends of Mt. Harmon, Inc. - Earleville, MD
Amount: $85,000

Jersey Shore Borough Access on the Susquehanna River Water Trail - West Branch
Partner: Jersey Shore Borough - Lycoming County, PA
Amount: $75,000

Planning and Design for Two Public Access Points on Cat Point Creek at Menokin
Partner: Menokin Foundation - Warsaw, VA
Amount: $70,000

Access on the Nanticoke River Water Trail
Partner: Nanticoke Watershed Alliance - Vienna, MD
Amount: $35,000

Juniata River Water Trail, Howe Township Boating and Fishing Access Project
Partner: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission - Perry County, PA
Amount: $57,514

Fort Hunter Park Public Access Project on the Susquehanna River Water Trail - Middle Branch
Partner: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission - Dauphin County, PA
Amount: $89,250

Occoquan Water Trail Access Enhancement
Partner: Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation - Woodbridge, VA
Amount: $77,500

Chemung Basin River Trail and Headwaters River Trail Access Project
Partner: Upper Susquehanna Coalition - Chemung County and Otsego County, NY
Amount: $87,523

Interpretive Media along the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in the District of Columbia
Partner: Cultural Tourism DC -District of Columbia
Amount: $67,748

North Point State Battlefield Design
Partner: Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Baltimore County, MD
Amount: $96,433

North Point State Park Visitor Center Exhibit Design
Partner: Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Baltimore County, MD
Amount: $35,000

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