Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM by oft14212

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 9

									    A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM


                                    The Chesapeake Bay Watershed


          The 64,000 square                                        New York
          mile Bay watershed
          has the highest land to
          water ratio of any
          estuary in the world.

          16 million people live           Pennsylvania
          in the watershed with
          another million                                                        The Chesapeake
          expected by 2010.                                                      Bay is North
                                                                                 America’s largest
          The way these people                          Maryland                 and most
          live and use the land     West Virginia                                biologically
                                                                      Delaware
          greatly influences                        District of                  diverse estuary,
          Bay water quality.                        Columbia                     home to more
                                                                                 than 3,600
                                                                                 species of plants,
                                         Virginia
                                                                                 fish and animals.




•    The Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries are renowned for their living
     resource abundance, beauty and recreational value. The Bay is the largest
     estuary in North America, and the second largest in the world.

•    With its large watershed, covering parts of six states and the District of
     Columbia, and its shallowness, the Bay has a greater land-to-water ratio than
     any other bay. The shallowness contributed to the Bay’s extraordinary
     productivity, but water quality and aquatic habitat are quite vulnerable to what
     happens on the land.

•    Population growth presents a challenge for Bay protection and restoration.
     The pattern of development is especially challenging. Once, the watershed
     was naturally filtered by forests covering 95% of the land; forest cover is now
     less than 60% and about 100 acres of forest are lost every day. From 1990-
     2000, the watershed’s population grew by 8 % but the amount of land covered
     by impervious surfaces – through which water cannot flow – increased five
     times faster, by about 41%.




                                                         1
•   Water quality of the Bay and tidal tributaries is seriously impaired.

                    Impaired Waters                                         Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Tributary
                                                                       Nutrient and/or Sediment Impaired Waterbodies
                   and Clean-up Plans
                    Over 90% of the
                    Chesapeake Bay and its
                    tidal rivers are listed
                    under the Clean Water
                    Act as “impaired waters”
                    largely because of low
                    dissolved oxygen levels
                    and other problems
                    related to nutrient
                    pollution.
                    This “listing” requires the
                    development of TMDLs
                    by 2011 if water quality
                    is not restored.
                   Note: Representation of 303(d) listed waters for
                   nutrient and/or sediment water quality
                   impairments for illustrative purposes only. For
                   exact 303(d) listings contact EPA
                   (http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/).
                                                                      Impaired Water     Unimpaired Water

                                                                                                                            1



•   Low dissolved oxygen (DO) means that fish and other living resources cannot
    thrive and survive. Poor water clarity inhibits growth of underwater Bay
    grasses (submerged aquatic vegetation or SAV). Harmful algal growth causes
    DO and SAV loss, and some algal blooms are toxic.




            Nutrient
           pollution
          loads have
           differing
         impacts on
        the Bay water
            quality,
        depending on
          where they
         come from.




       9/22/2005                                                                                                       13



•   Nutrient loads come from all over the watershed but nutrient allocations
    (reduction targets) take into account geographic differences in impact.
                                                                          2
•   Keystone fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay are also impaired, as shown below.
                                                                                                     CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM - ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS


                                                                                         Trends in Blue Crab: Mature Females

                                                                                                                 Spawning Stock Abundance                                                                         GOAL: To protect the
                                                                            2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  health of the blue crab
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  stock and maintain the
                                                                        1.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  spawning stock at a
                                               Spawning Female Index




                                                                            1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sustainable level.

                                                                        0.5                                                                                                                                       STATUS: Mature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  female abundance has
                                                                            0                                                                                                                                     been below the long-
                                                                                                                                  Average                                                                         term average for seven
                                                                       -0.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  straight years and
                                                                            -1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  eleven of the past
                                                                                                                                                                          VIMS Trawl,                             twelve years.
                                                                                    VIMS Trawl &                         VIMS Trawl,                                     Calvert Cliffs,                          Abundance declined in
                                                                       -1.5
                                                                                    Calvert Cliffs                      Calvert Cliffs &                                  MD Trawl &
                                                                                                                          MD Trawl                                       Winter Dredge                            2004 after trending
                                                                            -2                                                                                                                                    upwards for three
                                                                                 1968

                                                                                             1971

                                                                                                         1974

                                                                                                                 1977

                                                                                                                        1980

                                                                                                                               1983

                                                                                                                                      1986

                                                                                                                                                      1989

                                                                                                                                                                  1992

                                                                                                                                                                              1995

                                                                                                                                                                                           1998

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                           2004
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  straight years from an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  historic low in 2000.
                       Sources: MD Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Institute of Marine Science,
                       Academy of Natural Science, NOAA CBSAC.

          CBP 6/22/05                                                                                                   TRACK 2: LIVING RESOURCE INDICATOR



•   Fisheries management (overfishing), poor water quality and loss of essential
    habitat are all causes of decline that the Chesapeake Bay Program seeks to
    remedy.
                                                                                                     CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM - ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS


                                                                                                Trends in Shellfish: Oyster Harvest

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Oyster harvests in the
                                                                                 Maryland and Virginia Commercial Landings
                                                 40
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Bay have declined due to
                                                                                                                                        16
                                                                                                                                        14
                                                                                                                                                             Recent Trends                                 overharvesting, disease,
           Commercial Landings (million lbs)




                                                 35                                                                                                           (millions of lbs.)
                                                                                                                                        12
                                                                                                                                        10
                                                                                                                                                                                                           pollution and loss of
                                                 30                                                                                          8                                                             oyster reef habitat.
                                                                                                                                             6
                                                 25                                                                                          4
                                                                                                                                             2                                                             Two diseases,
                                                 20                                                                                          0
                                                                                                                                                 85               91                 97           2003     discovered in the 1950s
                                                 15                                                                                                                                                        and caused by the
                                                 10
                                                                                                                                                                                          VA               parasites MSX and
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Dermo, have been a
                                                         5                                                                                                                                MD
                                                                                                                                                                                                           major cause of the
                                                         0                                                                                                                                                 oyster’s decline during
                                                                       53               58          63          68      73     78       83                   88          93               98      2003
                                                                                                                                                                                                           recent times.




                       Source: NMFS Fisheries Statistics of the U.S.; calendar year data.

          CBP 10/26/04                                                                                                  TRACK 2: LIVING RESOURCE INDICATOR




                                                                                                                                                                     3
                                                                Underwater Bay Grasses
                                                         (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation or SAV)



•   Underwater Bay grasses (SAV) are essential habitat for many species,
    including commercially important species such as blue crabs. Today, beds of
    SAV are only a fraction of their historic abundance.

•   Restoring SAV habitat is an essential task of the Chesapeake Bay restoration,
    and new tidal water quality standards contain specific acreage goals. The
    extent of SAV loss and the area-specific restoration goals were determined by
    examination of aerial photographs taken over the last 60+ years.

•   Annual differences in SAV growth reflect weather conditions as well as
    nutrient-sediment reduction. The presence of filter feeding organisms such as
    oysters and mussels also has a significant effect in SAV areas by improving
    clarity of the water.
                                                           CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM - ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

                                                                     Acres of Bay Grasses
                                                18 0                                              GOAL: 185,000 acres by
                                                       Restoration Goal (185,000 acres by 2010)   2010.
             Acres of Bay Grasses (thousands)




                                                16 0
                                                                                                  STATUS: Total acreage in
                                                14 0                                              2004 is estimated to be
                                                                                                  72,935 (39% of the goal).
                                                12 0
                                                                                                  Acreage has increased
                                                10 0
                                                                                                  34,724 (91%) since the 1984
                                                80                                                low point.

                                                60

                                                40

                                                20

                                                  0




            *Note – Hatched area of bar includes estimated additional acreage. No Baywide surveys 1979-83 and 1988
            Source: Chesapeake Bay Program.
          CBP 8/23/05                                                TRACK 2: LIVING RESOURCE INDICATOR




                                                                                       4
                          The historic Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983 established the
                             Chesapeake Bay Program – a unique federal-state-local
                             partnership committed to restoring the Chesapeake Bay


                Governor of MD          Governor of VA           Governor of PA




                                                                   Mayor of DC

               EPA Administrator      Executive Council




                                                                Chair of
                                                               Chesapeake
                                                                  Bay
                                                               Commission




•   The idea that a regional partnership for Bay restoration was needed among the
    Bay watershed jurisdictions and the federal government emerged gradually.

•   Declines in living resource abundance of the Chesapeake Bay became evident
    in the 1950’s and 60’s. Tropical Storm Agnes caused a devastating impact in
    1972, especially on SAV habitat.

•   In the mid-1970’s, Congress appropriated funds for a multi-year research
    program led by EPA. After studying many possibilities, scientists concluded
    that over-enrichment of the estuary, caused by the nutrients nitrogen and
    phosphorus, was the chief reason for the decline. (In 2000, sediment was
    added to the list of primary causes of degradation.)

•   In 1983, the states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the Mayor of the
    District of Columbia; the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission (a tri-
    state legislative body); and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental
    Protection Agency formed a partnership to restore the Bay by signing the first
    Chesapeake Bay Agreement. These signatory officials form the governing
    body of the Program, the Chesapeake Executive Council. The EPA
    Administrator represents all federal agencies.




                                             5
•   The first Bay Agreement, in 1983, created the interstate-federal partnership,
    but it was several years before numerical goals could be established.

•   In 1987, the Executive Council agreed on a numerical goal for nutrient
    reduction to spur water cleanup. It agreed to seek 40% reduction in nitrogen
    (N) and phosphorus (P) loads by 2000 (from defined 1985 loads).

•   In 1992, the Council amended the 1987 agreement to reflect the critical
    importance of tributaries in restoring the bay.


                         The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement

            In 2000, the Chesapeake Bay Program partners took stock
            of new challenges and technology and set a bold new
            course into the 21st Century.

                                         The latest agreement,
                                         Chesapeake 2000, is a
                                         comprehensive blueprint for
                                         restoring the Bay and its
                                         living resources over the next
                                         decade.

                                         Improving water quality is the
                                         most critical element.




•   The broad-ranging Chesapeake 2000 agreement contains about 100
    commitments, ranging from water quality restoration to stewardship.




                                        6
          Chesapeake 2000 is the Master Plan of the Chesapeake Bay Program

                                       Keystone Commitments
             •     Oysters – 10-fold increase
             •     Multi-species Management – revise fisheries management approach
             •     Submerged Aquatic Vegetation – accelerate restoration
             •     Watersheds – implement watershed management plans in 2/3 of
                   watershed
             •     Wetlands – net resource gain by restoring 25,000 acres
             •     Forests – conserve existing riparian forest buffers
             •     Nutrients and Sediments – remove the Bay and tidal tributaries from
                   the list of impaired waters under the Clean Water Act
             •     Land Conservation – permanently preserve 20% of watershed
             •     Development, Redevelopment and Revitalization – reduce rate of
                   harmful sprawl 30%
             •     Education and Outreach – provide meaningful Bay or stream outdoor
                   experience for every school student in watershed

       9/23/2005                                                                         7




•   In 2003, the Bay Program partners agreed on the ten most important
    commitments of Chesapeake 2000. Federal agency partners participated in
    the selection process.

•   Success or failure to achieve “keystone” commitments will have an overall
    effect on the entire Bay restoration effort.

•   To strengthen federal agency strategic planning and coordination, the
    keystone commitments have been incorporated in the four strategic pillars of
    the Chesapeake Bay Program.




                                                    7
•   The most urgent, and costly, commitment in Chesapeake 2000 is to restore
    the Bay’s water quality by reducing nutrient and sediment pollution
    substantially.


                 Chesapeake 2000 Agreement
                  Water Quality Initiative

                 • Integrate cooperative Chesapeake Bay Program
                   and statutory Clean Water Act processes.
                 • By 2010, correct the nutrient- and
                   sediment-related problems in the Chesapeake
                   Bay and its tidal tributaries.
                 • Remove the Bay and tidal tributaries from the list
                   of impaired waters under the Clean Water Act.




•   Major changes were required in the Program to incorporate the Clean Water
    Act, which took five years to put in place.


                         Restoring Bay Water Quality
         The partnership was expanded through a Memorandum of
         Understanding to include the jurisdictions of DE, NY and WV.
                         Delaware        New York            West Virginia




            April 2003         March 2004          April 2004        2004-2005
         Bay criteria        Blue Ribbon         Jurisdictions    MD, VA, DE and
         published by        Finance Panel       complete         DC complete
         EPA                 established         development of   adoption of water
                                                 tributary        quality standards
         Load allocations    (report by          strategies
         for nutrients and   October 2004)
         sediment set by
         major basin by
         jurisdiction




                                             8
                                    Where Are We Now?

•   Nutrient and sediment load reductions still lag far behind the rate needed to
    restore water quality by 2010.

•   A new basinwide Clean Water Act permit strategy has been developed to
    establish and enforce nutrient effluent limits, which applies to all
    “significant” point sources. Twelve federal sources are on the list.

•   State tributary strategies are now in place almost everywhere in the
    watershed. Information is being assembled for the new “Chesapeake Bay
    Watershed Assistance Network” to facilitate communication among federal,
    state, local and private sources of financial and technical assistance.


                  Tributary Strategy Snapshot


          Point Sources = 22%                             Septic = 4%
          Watershed Nitrogen Load                         Watershed Nitrogen Load
          Tributary Strategies: Most large                Tributary Strategies: Pump outs,
          facilities will use state-of-the-art            new technology, upgrades
          technology to get maximum nutrient
          reductions.




                                                     Agriculture = 40%
                                                     Watershed Nitrogen Load
          Urban/Suburban = 18%                       Tributary Strategies: Nutrient
          Watershed Nitrogen Load                    management plans, cover crops,
          Tributary Strategies: Retrofits,           conservation tillage, buffers,
          infiltration practices, fertilizer         manure management.
          reduction.



•   Full participation of the federal agency partners in the Chesapeake Bay
    Program is key to successful restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Federal
    excellence is needed in environmental stewardship, administration of
    financial and technical assistance, science, stormwater management and
    environmental restoration technology demonstrations, and implementation
    of appropriate regulations cooperatively with state and local officials.




                                                 9

								
To top