PURPOSE OF NOTICE: To announce a public comment opportunity on the Chesapeake Bay Program's draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD IN PROCESS - ENDS MARCH 17, 2014.
BACKGROUND: the Chesapeake Bay Program has accomplished a great deal since the signing of the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement in 1983, but there is still much left to be done. Three decades later, Bay Program partners are working to guide the continued evolution of the bay ecosystem restoration and stewardship effort with the creation of a new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
This new plan for collaboration across the Bay’s political boundaries will clarify the vision, mission and values and establish shared goals and outcomes for the protection, restoration and stewardship of the Bay, its tributaries and the lands that surround them. The Agreement is intended to encourage a forward-looking approach to conservation and restoration, focusing on immediate results and recognizing our long-term effort must be sustained by and for future generations. Signatories will include the states of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Delaware; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
By signing the agreement, partners will commit to taking the steps needed to attain a healthy watershed: to lower nutrient and sediment pollution; to sustain blue crabs, oysters and forage fish; to restore wetlands and underwater grass beds; to conserve farmland and forests; and to boost public access to and education about the environment.
The draft agreement for stakeholder input, as well as details on providing comment can be found at: http://www.chesapeakebay.net/chesapeakebaywatershedagreement/page
VIRGINIA LISTENING SESSION: The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will host a listening session on Tuesday, March 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. In the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office (4949-A Cox Road). Contact: Ann Regn (email@example.com). This listening session will also be broadcast via webinar.