In addition to the Overview information provided for Water Quality, the Agriculture and Wastewater Workgroups have described their priorities and progress in the tabs below. Other important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to restore water quality by implementing pollution reduction practices on urban and suburban lands and reducing pollution deposited in the watershed from the air. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time. Progress in implementing the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and in achieving milestones set at the 2009 Executive Council Meeting is also described below.
The Agriculture Workgroup (AGWG) has described their priorities and progress in the tabs below. Other important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to restore water quality by implementing pollution reduction practices on urban and suburban lands and reducing pollution deposited in the watershed from the air. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time.
The Wastewater Workgroup has described their priorities and progress in the tabs below. Other important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to restore water quality by implementing pollution reduction practices on urban and suburban lands and reducing pollution deposited in the watershed from the air. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time.
The Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or “pollution diet” sets pollution limits necessary to meet applicable water quality standards in the Bay and its tidal rivers. The primary elements of the TMDL are “wasteload allocations” for “point sources” like sewage treatment plants, urban stormwater systems and large animal feeding operations, and “load allocations” for “non point sources” such as runoff from agricultural lands and non-regulated stormwater from urban and suburban lands. These pollution limits are further divided by jurisdiction and major river basin based on state-of-the-art modeling tools, extensive monitoring data, peer-reviewed science, and close interaction with jurisdiction partners.
During the 2009 Chesapeake Executive Council (EC) meeting, the Bay watershed jurisdictions set short-term goals or milestones to reduce pollution to the Bay and dramatically accelerate the pace of restoration. Jurisdictions based the 2009-2011 milestones on increasing their historic implementation rates in order to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. In December 2010, EPA finalized the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) which provided jurisdictions with load allocation numbers for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. These allocations created a “pollution diet” which set limits for the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that could enter the Bay from each jurisdiction and ensure the Bay is meeting water quality standards.
The 2009-2011 milestones were developed prior to the limits set by the Bay TMDL. As a result, the information presented here is not directly comparable with the annual reporting by the Bay jurisdictions on progress toward achieving the TMDL allocations. Beginning with the 2012-2013 milestone period, reporting of 2-year milestone progress will be tracked against the Bay TMDL allocations and the level of commitments made in the Phase I and II Watershed Implementation Plans.
In 2008, the Chesapeake Executive Council charged the seven jurisdictions to develop a two-year milestone process for reducing their respective nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment contributions to the Chesapeake Bay and to track the pace of those reductions. Two-year milestones provide short-term objectives and have become part of the overall Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) accountability framework established in 2010 to assess progress on restoration goals. When fully implemented, the seven Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) will ensure that practices are in place by 2017 to reduce the load by 60 percent. By 2025, all practices necessary to meet the target loading levels will be in place. The two-year milestones allow jurisdictions the opportunity to adapt implementation strategies outlined in their WIPs as necessary to meet those goals and ultimately achieve applicable water quality standards and restore the Bay.
Stormwater blurb here.
- Factors Influencing Goals
- Current Efforts and Gaps
- Strategies and Resources
- Performance Assessment
- Case Studies
- Make Your Own Map
- AGWG Members
Efforts in the Field
Implementation of conservation practices on agricultural land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is a high priority for Bay Program partners. Use the map below to view the implementation levels for various Best Management Practices (BMPs) from 1985 to the present. More work must be done in order to achieve the allocation goals described in the 2010 TMDL and depicted under Goals. To view some of the factors impacting this success, refer to Factors Influencing Goals.
Agriculture Workgroup Contribution to Chesapeake Bay Program Models
The Bay Program partners use the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model to predict the pollutant load reduction of pollution reduction practices (or Best Management Practices) in the watershed. The allocation goals set in the 2010 Chesapeake Bay TMDL were set, in part, using Phase 5.3 of the Watershed Model. The Agriculture Workgroup advises the Chesapeake Bay Program on what data and methods the Watershed Model should use to simulate nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads from livestock and agricultural lands; and how much pollution reduction credit to give existing and innovative, new practices that could be applied to agricultural lands. The Protocol for Development, Review and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls details the process that a practice must go through in order to be included in the models for reporting implementation progress.
If new technologies for controlling or reducing nutrient and sediment loads from animal operations and row crop agriculture are identified, the jurisdictions may request interim (placeholder) practices in the models for planning purposes only. Once the interim practices receive provisional definitions and effectiveness values from the Chesapeake Bay Program, they are eligible to be incorporated into state developed Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) and 2-year milestone commitments. Since the definitions and quantified benefits of these practices have not been evaluated through the peer-review process, they are not eligible for reporting implementation progress.
The Agriculture Workgroup has developed a list of prioritized BMPs to be brought through the review process. Progress of BMP review can be found under Performance Assessment.
Efforts of Partners
It is impossible to achieve a restored Bay without the work of many partners. Many federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have efforts under way to achieve the goals set forth in the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order. The Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Action Plan outlines actions being taken to reduce agricultural runoff and preserve and conserve farmland throughout the watershed:
- Focus resources on priority watersheds and agricultural conservation practices to assist states in implementing their Watershed Implementation Plans.
- Accelerate agricultural conservation adoption by working with partners to leverage funding and simplify program participation.
- Accelerate development of new agricultural conservation technologies.
- Develop a system of accountability for tracking and reporting conservation practices.
State agencies are working toward the progress they commited to in their Phase I Watershed Implementation Plans. Some of these initiatives are highlighted under Strategies and Resources, others are featured in Case Studies. Please contact the current staffer of the Agriculture Workgroup to recommend other work that should be featured.