New plan to expand Chesapeake Bay Program

Federal agencies this week gave their support to the Chesapeake Ecosystem Unified Plan containing 50 new initiatives to help restore the Chesapeake Bay regions of Virginia and Maryland.


The Chesapeake Ecosystem Plan is the second generation of Federal Agency agreements for the Chesapeake Bay Program. It is designed to expand on the 1994 Agreement of Federal Agencies Agreement on Ecosystem Management in the Chesapeake Bay.

The new plan will help the living resources of the Bay by targeting specific habitat restoration projects on the two million acres of Federal lands in the region, and assisting state and local governments and private landowners in similar efforts.

Additionally, the plan targets priority watersheds for special attention, including the Anacostia River in the District, the Elizabeth River in Virginia, and the Potomac and Upper Susquehanna rivers.

The new initiatives will increase Federal support for Pfiesteria research, monitoring and response; establish a restoration goal for wetlands on Federal lands of a net gain of 100 acres annually beginning in 2000; identify additional blockages to migratory fish on Federal land by Dec. 31, 1999, and open priority blockages to 50 miles of streams by Dec. 31, 2003.

The Plan also aims to implement by June 30, 1999, wet weather pollution prevention on federal facilities in the Anacostia and Rock Creek watersheds; implement pollution prevention to achieve a 75% voluntary reduction from a 1994 baseline in releases of Chesapeake Bay Toxics of Concern; target priority areas for exotic species control and for nutria impacts on wetlands; support stream corridor protection and restoration, with a specific goal of restoring 200 miles of forest buffers on Federal land by January 1, 2010; and increase public access to the Bay by opening 200 additional shoreline miles for public access by January 1, 2005.

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