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New Chesapeake Bay Draft Watershed Agreement

Public Comment Period Open until March 17

Three decades after the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement was signed, Chesapeake Bay Program partners and jurisdictions are seeking public input on a new agreement that will guide the next chapter of restoration across the watershed, recommitting citizens, stakeholders and local governments to conservation success.

“We create a healthy Bay through plentiful habitats for wildlife, sustainable fisheries, conservation efforts and citizen actions that support clean air and water,” says Governor Martin O’Malley, Chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council. “The Bay belongs to all of us — the input of our citizens, private businesses, watershed groups and local governments is critical to the success of our future restoration efforts.”

The draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement outlines a new plan for collaboration across the Bay’s political boundaries and clarifies the Bay Program’s vision and values. It establishes a series of interrelated goals and outcomes that will achieve results to protect and restore the Bay, its tributaries and the lands that surround them, as well as the health of the more than 17 million people who live here.

Please click here for more information on the
Agreement and to provide feedback by March 17, 2014.

The draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement contains seven high-level goals for advancing watershed restoration. These goals are paired with time-bound, measurable outcomes that will contribute to their achievement and increase transparency and accountability in tracking progress.

These goals include:

  • Sustainable Fisheries: Protecting, restoring and enhancing finfish, shellfish and other living resources, their habitats and ecological relationships
  • Vital Habitats: Restoring, enhancing and protecting a network of land and water habitats to support high-priority species and to afford other public benefits
  • Water Quality: Reducing pollutants to achieve the water quality necessary to support the aquatic living resources of the Bay and its tributaries and protect human health
  • Healthy Watersheds: Sustaining state-identified healthy waters and watersheds
  • Land Conservation: Conserving treasured landscapes in order to maintain water quality and habitat; sustaining working forests, farms and maritime communities; and conserving lands of cultural, indigenous and community value
  • Public Access: Expanding public access to the Bay and its tributaries
  • Environmental Literacy: Enabling students in the region to graduate with the knowledge to use scientific evidence and citizenship skills to act responsibly to protect and restore their local watershed.


By signing the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, Bay Program partners commit to implementing the actions needed to attain a healthy and vibrant Bay watershed. Agreement signatories will include: the states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government. This agreement also marks the first time that Delaware, New York and West Virginia will participate as signatories and full partners of the Bay Program.

State of Maryland
Public Open House

  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
    3 pm to 8 pm

    St John’s College, Mellon Hall
    Francis Scott Key Auditorium Lobby
    60 College Avenue
    Annapolis, MD 21401

  • All citizens and stakeholders are encouraged to attend, learn about the current draft Watershed Agreement, speak with knowledgeable staff, and provide input to ensure the best possible final agreement for Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  The public comment period is open until March 17, 2014.

  • Public comment period is open until March 17, 2014. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions to the Chesapeake Bay Program to ensure the most comprehensive final plan is produced for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Public Parking is available in Annapolis City Garages, including:

  • Navy Stadium Parking Lot – Gate #6:
    Just off Rowe Blvd on Taylor Avenue
    (Stadium shuttle runs every fifteen minutes to College Avenue)

  • Calvert Garage:
    19 Saint Johns Street
    (free/available after 5pm)

Contact Information

Chesapeake & Coastal Service

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tawes State Office Building, E-2

580 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Phone 410-260-8732

Fax 410-260-8739