Federal Chesapeake Bay Strategies Issued

Six federal agencies led by the EPA issued the final strategy document, Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed [EPA‐903‐R‐10‐003] on May 12, 2010, following up an executive order mandating a federal strategy to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Among the outcomes sought by the strategy is “Protect an additional 2 million acres of lands throughout the watershed currently identified as high conservation priorities at the federal, state or local level by 2025, including 695,000 acres of forest land of highest value for maintaining water quality.” The measure of this outcome will be “the number of acres identified as high conservation priorities at the local, state or federal level which are permanently protected from development, whether by purchase or donation, through a perpetual conservation easement or fee ownership for their cultural, historical, ecological, or agricultural value.”

The actions listed to implement this outcome are: “Launch Chesapeake Treasured Landscape Initiative. Coordinate and target federal land conservation funding. Conserve landscapes through National Park Service partnership areas. Achieve mutual conservation goals through National Wildlife Refuge partnerships. Develop a Bay-wide strategy to reduce the loss of farms and forests. Support creation and expansion of protected coastal and marine areas. Provide community assistance for landscape conservation. Identify culturally significant landscapes. Establish watershed-wide GIS-based land conservation targeting system. Develop integrated transportation, land use, housing and water infrastructure plans.”

The participating agencies (“the Federal Leadership Committee”) are Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation.

The Strategies document is available at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net/file.axd?file=2010%2f5%2fChesapeake+EO+Strategy%20.pdf.

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