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Russ Baxter Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the Chesapeake Bay Planning for Our Future: A new Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. Public comment invited through March 17, 2014 Visit: . NY. DC. VA. MD.

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Russ Baxter

Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the Chesapeake Bay

Planning for Our Future:

A new Chesapeake Watershed Agreement


Public comment invited through March 17, 2014










Federal govt

Bay Commission

A vast partnership of all the major players in the Chesapeake region, working collaboratively on science, policy and restoration efforts

chesapeake bay program history
Chesapeake Bay Program History
  • 1980 Chesapeake Bay Commission
  • 1983 Chesapeake Bay Agreement
  • 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement
  • 1992 Amended to develop Tributary strategies
  • 2000 Chesapeake Bay 2000
  • 2005 New Tributary strategies were released
  • 2009 Executive Order Signed
  • 2010 Chesapeake Bay TMDL
  • 2011 “Alignment” process begun
  • Common Goals and Shared Effort to Restore the Bay
    • 6 Bay States and DC
    • EPA and other federal agencies
    • Local Governments
    • Non-profit Organizations
    • Academic Institutions


why is a new agreement important
Why is a new Agreement important?

We (the partners) need to:

  • Revisit and renew our commitments to work together & set new goals (nearly 14 years since the last agreement was signed)
  • Provide opportunity for full participation by the headwater states
  • Update science, governance and management techniques – ie: climate change, adaptive management
  • Improve our coordination, integration & collaboration among the partners
  • Align the EO and TMDL with the Partnership agreement and governance structures to ensure proper coordination
what will it do
What will it do?
  • Clarity
    • Clearer goals and more well defined outcomes than previous agreements
  • Flexibility
    • Allow us to adapt our thinking and management decisions to adjust to changing conditions and circumstances
  • Transparency & Accountability
    • Partners set priorities & commit resources through management strategies

how will it work
How will it work?

ALL goals, outcomes and strategies derived from the CBP Goal Teams –

issue experts & stakeholders from across the jurisdictions / watershed.


CBP’s Executive Council (EC) agrees on the

Watershed Agreement




CBP’s Principals’ Staff Committee (PSC) tracks OUTCOMES,

ensuring they are measureable & achievable; adapting as needed






CBP’s Management Board (MB) to manage and track the STRATEGIES, adapting them as necessary over time for success



Management strategies will guide the work and will also allow some flexibility to implement the practices that make the most sense for each portion of the watershed.

what are the goals
  • Sustainable Fisheries
    • Blue Crab Abundance; Blue Crab Management; Oysters, Forage fish; Fish Habitat (spawning, nursery and forage)
  • Vital Habitats
  • Wetlands – re-establish tidal and nontidal wetlands, enhance function of degraded wetlands
  • Black duck habitat;
  • Stream health;
  • Brook trout;
  • Fish passage
  • SAV
  • Forest buffers;
  • Urban tree canopy

what are the goals1
  • Water Quality
  • Nutrient and Sediment reduction goals and schedules called for in the Chesapeake Bay TMDL
  • Healthy Watersheds
  • Protect currently-healthy waters and small watersheds
  • Maintain currently identified “healthy waters”
  • Land Conservation
  • Protect additional 2 million acres
  • Develop methodology for measuring extent and rate of change in impervious lands
  • Evaluate “incentive, resources and tools” to assist local governments in reducing rate of ag and forest land consumption

what are the goals2

Public Access

Add 300 public-access sites

Environmental Literacy

Increase participation of students in watershed educational experiences; highlight successful environmental educations; develop baseline metrics for environmental literacy

management strategies
Management Strategies
  • Within one year of the Agreement, Goal Implementation Teams will develop management strategies for the outcomes supporting the Agreement goals. These strategies will outline the means for accomplishing the outcome, monitoring, assessing and reporting progress and coordinating actions among partners and stakeholders, as necessary.
watershed agreement in summary
Watershed Agreement in Summary
  • Looks ahead to address emerging challenges
  • Sets clearer goals for partners to strive toward; and specific outcomes to help us measure our progress
  • Incorporates latest science and ecosystem management techniques
  • Better integrates and coordinates between CBP and EO goals for the Bay
  • Creates greater flexibility and improved accountability for partners’ efforts

Image courtesy Choose Clean Water Coalition


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