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Pennsylvania's Connection to the Bay

Chesapeake Bay Watershed (map and Bay 101 info)

Bay Restoration Strategy

Working with a number of partners and stakeholders, DEP has developed a Bay restoration strategy comprised of several short, mid and long-term recommendations, aimed at augmenting our approach to water quality improvements in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Bay plan is a collaborative effort between the Departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Conservation and Natural Resources, along with other stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of the reboot strategy. We are working together to coordinate plans, policies and resources. There are six essential recommendations laid out in the new strategy:

  • Put high-impact, low-cost Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the ground, and quantify undocumented BMPs in watersheds impaired by agriculture or stormwater.
  • Improve reporting, record keeping and data systems to provide better and more accessible documentation.
  • Address nutrient reduction by meeting EPA's goal of inspecting 10 percent of farms in the watershed, ensuring development and use of manure management and agricultural erosion and sediment control plans, and enforcement for non-compliance.
  • Identify legislative, programmatic or regulatory changes to provide the additional tools and resources necessary to meet federal pollution reduction goals by 2025.
  • Obtain additional resources for water quality improvement.
  • Establish a Chesapeake Bay Office to coordinate the development, implementation and funding of the commonwealth's Chesapeake Bay efforts.

The strategy relies on a mix of technical and financial assistance for farmers, technology, expanded data gathering, improved program coordination and capacity and – only when necessary – stronger enforcement and compliance measures.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s Restoration Strategy, see the resources below:

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement

The latest iteration of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement was signed in June 2014 by the Governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the Mayor of Washington, D.C., the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Administrator of the EPA. This agreement guides the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary.

The agreement contains ten goals and twenty-nine measurable, time-bound outcomes that will help create a healthy watershed that protects both Pennsylvania Waters and the Chesapeake Bay. The outcomes will lower nutrient and sediment pollution; help ensure our waters are free of toxic contaminants; sustain fisheries, blue crabs, oysters and forage fish; restore wetlands, underwater grass beds and other habitats; conserve farmland and forests; boost public access to and education about the Bay and its tributaries; and increase the climate resiliency of the watershed's resources, habitats and communities.

This is the fourth agreement over the program's 30 year history. The first Chesapeake Bay Agreement was signed in 1983 by Governor Thornburgh. Governor Casey signed the second agreement in 1987, and Governor Ridge signed the third agreement in 2000.

Click here to download the final Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement (PDF)

Click here to learn more about Agreement Management Strategies and Work Plans

Links to Additional Information & Reference Materials