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.