On July 23, the Chesapeake Executive Council announced the release of 25 management strategies for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, including its tributaries, wetlands, and diverse ecological habitats. The announcement was made at the council’s annual meeting to set goals and guidance for the partnership.
The strategies summarize the Chesapeake Bay Program’s plans for meeting the objectives of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which was signed in 2014 and establishes goals and outcomes for the Chesapeake Bay restoration. Each management strategy also addresses at least one of the 31 measurable, time-based outcomes detailed in the agreement for helping foster a healthy watershed.
The Executive Council — represented by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and leaders from six bay states — also passed two resolutions at the meeting that further support bay protection efforts. The first action includes endorsing recommendations from the State Riparian Forest Buffer Task Force. The second action commits to watershed-wide collaborative efforts for increasing forests on agricultural lands, and directing the Chesapeake Bay Program to hold a symposium on financing options for environmental restoration efforts.
Additionally, council members agreed to two joint letters: one supporting program improvements that prevent livestock from entering watershed streams, and another supporting funding in President Obama’s 2016 budget for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.