Virginia Governor Ralph Northam yesterday kicked off a new phase of Virginia’s efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
“The Commonwealth has made great strides in reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, reaching our goal of reducing nutrient pollution by 60% by 2017. As a result, the Bay is responding—underwater grasses, water clarity, and living resources are improving,”said Governor Northam.
“However, there is still much more work to do to achieve our goal of a fully restored Chesapeake Bay. My administration is committed to working with communities across Virginia to design a Bay clean-up plan firmly grounded in the ideas and needs of our local communities.”
As part of this initiative, the Commonwealth will partner with regional Planning District Commissions (PDCs) and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay watershed.
According to the official announcement, Virginia’s PDCs are uniquely positioned to facilitate local government cooperation and state-local cooperation in addressing regional problems of greater than local significance, specifically in matters of environmental management.
“The staff and locally-elected Directors at Virginia’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts offer critical knowledge and expertise for farmers seeking ways to help improve our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay,” stated Dr. Kendall Tyree, Executive Director, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation District. “Districts welcome the opportunity to work with Governor Northam’s administration to design a locally-driven clean-up plan for the Bay.”
This announcement comes during Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week designated by the Virginia General Assembly to help raise awareness of how the public can more fully engage in restoration needs.