Water Quality

Many parts of the Chesapeake Bay contain excess nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment, and are listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act. As part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, the Chesapeake Bay Program has adopted a goal to reduce pollutants to achieve the water quality necessary to support aquatic living resources and protect human health. Under this goal, our partners have adopted two outcomes:

  • 2017 and 2025 Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) Outcome: By 2017, have practices and controls in place that are expected to achieve 60 percent of the nutrient and sediment load reductions necessary to achieve applicable water quality standards compared to 2009 levels. By 2025, have all practices and controls in place to achieve applicable water quality (i.e., dissolved oxygen, water clarity/submerged aquatic vegetation and chlorophyll a) standards as articulated in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL).
  • Water Quality Standards Attainment and Monitoring Outcome: Continually improve our capacity to monitor and assess the effects of the management actions being taken to implement the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) and improve water quality. Use monitoring results to report annual progress being made in attaining water quality standards and trends in reducing nutrients and sediment in the watershed.

Track our progress toward these outcomes on ChesapeakeProgress, or through our TMDL tracker, Two-Year Milestone progress tool or Best Management Practice review table.