Executive Order 13508 - Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration

On May 12, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13508, recognizing the Chesapeake Bay as a national treasure and calling on the federal government to lead a renewed effort to restore and protect the nation’s largest estuary and its watershed.

The Order established a Federal Leadership Committee to oversee the development and coordination of reporting, data management, and other activities by agencies involved in Bay restoration. The committee is chaired by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and includes, among others, senior representatives from the departments of Agriculture (USDA), Commerce (Commerce), Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), Interior (DOI), and Transportation (DOT).

The Order directs the Committee to "prepare and publish a strategy for coordinated implementation of existing programs and projects to guide efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay," to include key challenges associated with climate change. Results of this effort include the "Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed," published in May 2010, and the FY 2011 Action Plan (see separate entries).

Part 6 of the Order - Protect Chesapeake Bay as the Climate Changes - directs the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior to "organize and conduct research and scientific assessments to support development of the strategy to adapt to climate change impacts on the Chesapeake Bay watershed... and to evaluate the impacts of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay in future years."

The Order requires participating agencies to consult extensively with the state governments of the seven Bay jurisdictions - Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia - in preparing their reports, and to submit drafts by September 2009.


Publication Date: May 12, 2009

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