As previously reported on Conduit Street, Maryland joined the other Chesapeake Bay states in signing a broad new watershed agreement in June of 2014. This agreement was less specific than the 3 prior agreements but its 10 goals and 29 outcomes included new issues, such as climate change and pollution from toxins. Conduit Street also reported that management strategies would be created through the Chesapeake Bay Program for each of the 29 outcomes. Each Bay state would choose which of the outcomes it wished to pursue – Maryland chose to pursue all 29 outcomes.
The strategies are currently being finalized, with public comment ending a few weeks ago. The strategies cover a broad range of issues, including climate adaptation, fish habitat, forest buffers, wetlands, 2017 and 2025 watershed implementation plans, toxic contaminants policy and prevention, land use methods and metrics development, local leadership, and diversity. Many of these strategies have the potential to affect local governments, although only those strategies dealing with water quality specifically require local government participation.
Once the strategies are finalized, work with begin on creating work plans to implement the strategies. Draft work plans are expected to be finished by October and put out for public comment. Completed work plans will be due in late December of 2015 or mid-January of 2016.
The Bay Program continues to hold meetings on the different strategies and work plans. For example, the Partnering and Leadership Goal Team, which is finalizing the local leadership management strategy, met on May 18.
Please contact Les Knapp at 410.269.0043 or email@example.com if you have questions about the management strategies or work plans or upcoming goal team meetings.