Bill Matuszeski, who became director of the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office in 1991, retired March 31.

Acting EPA Region III Administrator Thomas Voltaggio named Diana Esher to serve as the Bay Program’s director until a replacement is named for Matuszeski. Esher has served as deputy director of the Bay Program since October 1999. Before that, she was the deputy director of EPA Region III’s Environmental Services Division and has served in a variety of supervisory positions within the region.

Also, Greg Peck was named acting deputy director of the Bay Program. Peck previously was senior policy advisor to the EPA deputy administrator and earlier held numerous senior management positions within the EPA. He was the agency’s representative on the White House Wetlands Working Group.

The EPA has been conducting a nationwide search for a new Bay Program director, and has received dozens of applications. Voltaggio said it could six to 12 months to fill the position.

Matuszeski was the longest-serving Bay Program director. He was a long time advocate of setting quantifiable restoration goals for which the public could hold government agencies accountable and increasing citizen involvement in restoration efforts.

That was reflected in his heavy involvement with the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, which included many measurable goals, including achieving a clean Bay by 2010, reducing the rate of sprawl 30 percent by 2012 and preserving 20 percent of the watershed as permanently protected open space by 2010.

Before coming to the Bay Program, Matuszeski served as associate assistant administrator for water with EPA headquarters, and as executive director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.