Request for Public Comment Preamble

We are releasing this draft document to solicit your comments. Chesapeake 2000 was developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program partners with the assistance of thousands of citizens, scientists and policy makers from throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. It contains commitments that are far reaching and that address issues of the waters and living resources of the Bay and its rivers, and the land and air that surround them. Chesapeake 2000 will take us well into the next decade and beyond.

This document addresses issues that the signatories believe will be necessary to meet the challenge to restore and protect the Bay in the future. In order to finalize The 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement, we must hear from you. Have we addressed your concerns? Will the Bay and its rivers be better off as a result of the commitments proposed?

Public comment will be received through March 31, 2000. If you would like to assist us in our consideration of this document please send us your comments by returning the response form at the end of the Agreement or online at www.chesapeakebay.net or write t

Chesapeake 2000 Comments
c/ Chesapeake Bay Program Office
410 Severn Avenue, Suite 109
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
1-800-YOUR-BAY (968-7229)

Overview

The Draft Agreement is written with a preamble and five sections:

  • Living Resource Protection and Restoration
  • Vital Habitat Protection and Restoration
  • Water Quality Restoration and Protection
  • Sound Land Use
  • Individual Responsibility and Community Engagement

Preamble

The Preamble identifies the following challenges for the future:

  • Increased population
  • Expanded development
  • The dynamic nature of the Bay
  • The Bay as part of the global ecosystem

The signatories commit to the following to address these challenges:

  • Reaffirm the partnership
  • Recommit to fulfilling the public responsibility
  • Manage for the future
  • Have a vision for our desired destiny

Living Resource Protection and Restoration

We need to better understand the interconnectedness of the Bay's living resources and the importance of protecting the entire natural ecosystem. Action items include:

Specific management strategies for:

  • Oysters-10x increase
  • Crabs-harvest target

Completing already established goals for:

  • Fish passages-1356 miles

Undertake new actions for:

  • Managing exotic species currently existing in the Bay watershed
  • Nationwide, helping to find strategies to limit the introduction of exotic species through ballast water
  • Multi-species fisheries management plans
  • Migratory and resident fish

Vital Habitat Protection and Restoration

Preserve the natural infrastructure to protect the Bay's waters and living resources. Action items include:

Undertake new actions for:

  • SAV restoration
  • Preservation and restoration of wetlands
  • Voluntarily adopted community or watershed-based plans for wetlands-25% of all state lands
  • Encouraging the adoption of riparian forest conservation and restoration plans-50% of all state lands
  • Improved monitoring of stream corridors
  • Extension of forest buffer strategies

Completing already established goals for:

  • Restored acres of SAV-114,000 acres
  • No-net loss of wetlands
  • 2010 miles of riparian buffers by 2010

Working with local governments on:

  • Selecting pilot projects that promote stream corridor protection and restoration
  • Making available information concerning the aquatic health of stream corridors
  • Developing watershed management plans

Water Quality Restoration and Protection

Improving water quality is the primary means of restoring and protecting the Bay and its tributaries. Action items include:

Completing already established goals for:

  • Continue efforts to achieve and maintain the 40% nutrient reduction goal agreed to in 1987
  • Reducing or eliminating chemical contaminants to fulfill the 1994 goal of a Bay free of toxics

Removing the Bay from the EPA list of "impaired waters" by 2010

  • Correct all nutrient-related problems sufficient to remove the Bay and tidal rivers from list
  • Correct all sediment-related problems sufficient to remove the Bay and tidal rivers from list

Through voluntary measures:

  • Strive for zero release of chemical contaminants from point sources
  • Reduce the potential risk of pesticides

Supporting the restoration of the urban rivers:

  • Anacostia River
  • Baltimore Harbor
  • Elizabeth River

Undertake new actions for:

  • Strengthening air emission pollution prevention
  • No discharge zones for recreational boats

Sound Land Use

Future development should protect our natural and rural resource lands, limit impervious surfaces and concentrate new growth in existing population centers or suitable areas served by appropriate infrastructure. Progress report will be done even 2 years. Action items include:

Establish the use of voluntary mechanisms t

  • Expand conservation easements
  • Use purchase or transfer of development rights programs

Undertake assessments of:

  • Resource lands

Working with local, state, and federal partners t

  • Expand the system of public access to the Bay, and its tributaries by 30%
  • Increase the number of water trails by 500 miles

Working with local governments t

  • Provide assistance to plan for or revise plans, ordinances and regulations to provide for conservation and use of forest and agriculture lands
  • Develop and maintain a strong GIS system accessible to local governments
  • * Reduce the rate of conversion of forest and agricultural lands within each state (agreement has not been reached on this commitment)
  • Identify government impediments to use of low impact development design
  • Encourage sound land use planning
  • Review current tax policies which discourage sustainable development practices
  • Promote redevelopment and remove barriers to reinvestment
  • Provide analytical tools for watershed-based assessments
  • Develop guidelines for limiting impervious surface cover
  • Develop land-use management policies to encourage concentration of new residential development in areas with adequate infrastructure
  • Evaluate implementation of stormwater and erosion control and ensure coordination

Undertake management actions t

  • Develop and promote wastewater treatment options
  • Strengthen brownfield redevelopment
  • Integrate transportation planning with land use planning
  • Modify policies to reduce reliance on automobiles
  • Encourage use of clean vehicle technologies

Individual Responsibility and Community Engagement

The Bay's health depends upon the actions of every citizen in the watershed, today and in the future. Involving individuals with local resources advances Baywide restoration as well. Action items include:

Making public outreach and citizen involvement a priority t

  • Achieve public awareness and personal involvement
  • Use the latest communication technologies
  • Integrate core message about the Bay into school curricula
  • Recognize stewardship efforts at schools and involve students and teachers in hands on activities
  • Incorporate minority populations

New actions for increasing citizen interaction include:

  • Identifying small watersheds where community-based actions are essential to meeting Bay restoration goals
  • Enhancing funding for community-based programs
  • Developing a clearinghouse for information on local watershed restoration efforts
  • Offering information suitable for analyzing environmental conditions at a small watershed scale
  • Reevaluating the Local Government participation Action Plan
  • Improving communication with and among local government

Government by Example

  • Governments should lead the way in being good stewards of the environment and provide leadership in environmental practices
  • Ensure that all government properties are properly managed
  • Use clean vehicle technologies
  • Build partnerships with the other watershed states-Delaware, New York and West Virginia.