The 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Agreement`s pioneering new agreement contains a number of new objectives that will support the restoration and protection of the bay, its tributaries and the country surrounding the watershed. In 2009, it became clear that we needed a new agreement that would accelerate the pace of restoration and direct federal guidance toward public and local goals to create a healthy bay. Bay Program partners collected input from residents, interest groups, academic institutions, local governments and more to develop an inclusive and focused document that addresses current and emerging environmental issues. In particular, the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement identified critical targets on five themes: click on the cover above to view the final bay agreement of 2014. The first agreement in 1983 was a simple, one-sided promise signed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The 2014 agreement sets 2025 as the deadline to achieve the targets. A mid-term evaluation carried out in 2017 revealed significant progress in reducing pollution, mainly through the reduction of nutrients from wastewater treatment plants. But the assessment showed that polluted runoff from suburbs and urban areas is increasing, and also found that Pennsylvania generally lags behind other states. But the first agreements were voluntary, with little responsibility. These agreements have made progress, but the states and the district have not met their own pollution reduction targets. Until 2009, all participants understood that a new type of approach was needed, one that lived up to the promises of the participants.

The agreement includes the objectives of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, but also defined objectives for habitat restoration and conservation, improved fisheries, improved public access to the public and environmental skills. The agreement cited adaptive management as a central principle. Adaptive management is a process that supports decision-making in the face of uncertainty, reduces uncertainty over time, and responds to change. . . .