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
Best Management Practice Implementation
Current (2009) implementation levels and implementation levels that would meet the Chesapeake Bay TMDL allocations for agriculture are based on Appendix V of the TMDL and presented below. The implementation levels represent the percent of the relevant land use area or pollutant source that received a BMP. The 2009 implementation percentages are derived from the Chesapeake Bay Program 2009 modeled progress run and, with the exception of annual practices (e.g., cover crops) that are reported separately each year, represent an accumulation of BMP implementation from 1985 through 2009. The Bay jurisdictions report all data (both annual and cumulative practices) annually to EPA. The Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) percentages are based on the Bay jurisdictions' final Phase I WIP input decks (information delivered in a format that can be run through the watershed model) submitted in 2010 that were designed to meet nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reduction targets in each major basin in each jurisdiction.
Improving Best Management Practices
Best management practice (BMP) implementation at current levels will not achieve the goals set forth in the 2010 TMDL. In addition to increasing implementation of these pollutant reduction practices, new technologies are constantly arising, replacing older practices that may have been in place for years. Through the Protocol for Development, Review and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls, newer practices are considered and evaluated for inclusion in the model, and long-standing practices are re-evaluated to be sure they are still properly portrayed in the model. The Agriculture Workgroup has identified a listing of priority BMPs that, once incorporated, will improve the model. Progress of the reviews and a graphic depiction of the protocol can be found under Performance Assessment.
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The maps below show how selected agencies and organizations are focusing their resources. EPA has established Priority Watersheds for the different pollutants addressed in the TMDL. As described in the the Executive Order Action Plan, USDA-NRCS is working to establish Showcase Watersheds, where local problems can be observed and fixed with local solutions. Explore these priority areas below.
As a final note, creating a more informed, aware constituency is vital to increasing support for putting the right practices on agricultural lands. This is a challenge taken on daily by cooperative extension programs and soil conservation districts. Providing access to the information and resources they need via ChesapeakeStat and other venues is crucial to effectively diffuse information.
Funding information displayed in ChesapeakeStat is reported voluntarily by Chesapeake Bay Program partners during an annual data call. Questions related to the data call and the funding information can be directed to the Chesapeake Registry Team.
Many BMP review panels have concluded that better research is needed to address key questions that will focus our work most effectively. Universities, including but not limited to Cornell, Penn State, University of Maryland, University of Delaware, West Virginia University, and Virginia Tech act as a vital component of the Chesapeake Bay Program. In working with these universities, we gain valuable insight on existing research topics, and work to identify areas in need of further research.