A unique two-year study is set in motion that will tackle the best path forward to achieve overall restoration goals in the Chesapeake Bay.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has signed a Watershed Assessment Cost-Sharing Agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to begin work on the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Water Resources and Restoration Plan.
“This plan will complement the ongoing efforts of many who are working toward the collective goal to restore the Bay and surrounding watershed and will also serve as a pathway for future restoration partnerships,” said Dave Robbins, project manager, Baltimore District.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed spans 64,000 square miles and encompasses portions of New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware; the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia; and the District of Columbia.
Due to a variety of factors, significant environmental problems have developed in the watershed to include impaired stream health, fish-passage blockages, shoreline erosion, etc.
The comprehensive plan will outline ecological needs, problems, and opportunities in the watershed, while relying heavily on existing information such as the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement work plans, as well as new digital land-cover data provided by NFWF.
The Corps will contribute 75 percent of the approximate $2.8 million cost share for the comprehensive plan, and NFWF will contribute the other 25 percent entirely from in-kind services (non-monetary contributions).