Chesapeake Bay Program


 South Jefferson Elementary School  Wildwood Middle School
South Jefferson Elementary School's CTree project in the fall of 2012. Photos on this page are courtesy of Cacapon Institute. Students at Wildwood Middle School taking a "Green Leap Forward" in honor of Finely Broaddus and her Green Leap Forward campaign at a Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watershed project in the spring of 2014.

Since 2002, West Virginia has been a formal partner in the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. In June, our state signed on to the updated Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which was released on December 29, 2010, establishes the foundation for water quality improvements embodied in the new Agreement. It drives the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reductions West Virginia committed to in our Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Tributary Team partners are in the midst of implementing the strategies in the WIP. These strategies address new, existing, and expanded sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. 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 milestones, to ensure the project stays on track.

While some commitments are carried out through permits, like wastewater treatment plant upgrades, many of the WIP strategies are voluntary and depend on homeowners, school classes, local governments, and others to do things like install rain gardens to manage runoff, take care of septic systems, or plant trees. Some real momentum and progress is occurring thanks to projects like Cacapon Institute’s CommuniTree and Potomac Headwaters Future Leaders of Watersheds (PHLOW). Even more commitment of this kind by the residents and workers in the eight-county Potomac Basin will be needed this year and in the years to come. Please contact us if your organization or class would like to be involved.

Data compiled by the West Virginia Chesapeake Bay Tributary team is now available, showing West Virginia's implementation process to date on several agricultural best management practices (BMPs), as well as stormwater practices. These slides help to put in perspective where we are now, and how far we are from the 2017 and 2025 goals. For many BMPs, West Virginia is well on its way to achieving the 2017 goal levels, such as in stream exclusion fencing, and agricultural tree plantings. Other BMPs, such as cover crop acres, show fluctuation as they are "annual" BMPs, not cumulative. Some BMPs are not cost-shared, meaning tracking instances of this practice can be difficult. To see all progress slides, click here. In addition, the 2013 Programmatic Milestone Progress Report is posted here.

Volunteers from the Town of Bath a West Virginia Project CommuniTree Tree Planting at Greenway Cemetery in Berkeley Springs in the fall of 2012. Students at Martinsburg High School working on planting a Flowering Dogwood tree in the spring of 2013. 

Additoinal Resources

1. West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Program
2. Chesapeake Bay Program
3. Chesapeake Stat
4. Potomac basin watersheds
5. Click here for the Nonpoint Source BMP reporting tool

 West Virginia Eastern Panhandle

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