Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement

The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership that leads and directs Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection. Bay Program partners include federal and state agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations and academic institutions.

Signatories of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement include representatives from the entire watershed, committing for the first time the Bay’s headwater states to full partnership in the Chesapeake Bay Program. This plan for collaboration across the Bay’s political boundaries establishes goals and outcomes for the restoration of the Bay, its tributaries and the lands that surround them.

The agreement contains 10 goals that will advance the restoration and protection of the Bay watershed. Each goal is linked to a set of outcomes, or time-bound and measurable targets that will directly contribute to its achievement.

One of the 10 goals of the Agreement is the Climate Resiliency Goal: “to increase the resiliency of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including its living resources, habitats, public infrastructure and communities, to withstand adverse impacts from changing environmental and climate conditions.”

According to the report, storms, floods and sea level rise will have big impacts across the watershed. Monitoring, assessing and adapting to these changing environmental conditions will help living resources, habitats, public infrastructure and communities withstand the adverse effects of climate change.

The intended Outcomes of the Climate Resiliency Goal are to:

Continually monitor and assess the trends and likely impacts of changing climatic and sea level conditions on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, including the effectiveness of restoration and protection policies, programs and projects.

Continually pursue, design and construct restoration and protection projects to enhance the resiliency of Bay and aquatic ecosystems from the impacts of coastal erosion, coastal flooding, more intense and more frequent storms and sea level rise.

To restore and protect this national treasure, the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership was formed in 1983 when the Governors of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency signed the first Chesapeake Bay agreement. That initial agreement recognized the “historical decline of living resources” in the Chesapeake Bay and committed to a cooperative approach to “fully address the extent, complexity and sources of pollutants entering the Bay.” For more than 30 years, this regional Partnership has become recognized as one of the nation’s premier estuarine restoration efforts, implementing policies, engaging in scientific investigation and coordinating actions among the states, the District of Columbia and the federal government.



Publication Date: June 16, 2014


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