By E.B. FURGURSON III
Governors and representatives of six states and the District of Columbia gathered in Annapolis Monday to sign the latest Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, an overarching blueprint for the work ahead to fix the Chesapeake Bay.
While there has been some progress made since the first agreement was signed in 1983, much is left to do, the leaders noted, and the agreement provides the first step toward the ultimate goal of fishable, swimmable waters in the great estuary.
The agreement has more tools built into it than previous deals. There are 10 goals for things like sustainable fisheries, water quality, toxic contaminants and climate “resiliency” - read climate change.
Each of the goals has one or more outcomes. For water quality, the first is to have practices in place that will achieve 60 percent of the nutrient and sediment reduction to put the bay on a solid cleanup trajectory. The second is to have all the practices in place to get to meet federal pollution diet standards.
And while it remains a voluntary agreement among the bay watershed jurisdictions of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., there are measurable goals and outcomes that signatories and citizens can monitor to determine if there is progress or not.
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