In June 2002 Governor Bob Wise signed the Chesapeake Bay Program Water Quality Initiative Memorandum of Understanding. By signing this memo, West Virginia agreed to develop goals and objectives to reduce nutrient and sediment loads. Reductions of 33% for nitrogen, 35% for phosphorus, and 6% for sediment were needed between 2002 and 2010.
In May 2009, President Obama issued an Executive Order to increase federal commitment and actions to support restoration efforts of local governments, nonprofit groups and citizens and to require federal lands and facilities to lead by example in environmental stewardship. EPA then proceeded with the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which was released on December 29, 2010.
West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Tributary Team partners are in the midst of implementing the strategies in the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) . The WIP strategies address new, existing, and expanded sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. One example of a source of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) is described in the box below. The Bay Team partners are required to make 60 percent of the needed reductions from all of the sources by 2017, and 100 percent of the needed reductions by 2025. There are also interim goals, to ensure the project stays on track. The Bay Team partners can now compare actual progress to the 2013 milestones. For example, the 2013 milestone of 14,618 feet of steambank restoration has been exceeded. Early in 2014, when the Chesapeake Bay Program run its watershed model, DEP will be able to comapre the load reduction progress to 2013 load reduction milestones.