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February 20, 2014

Wanted: Your Opinions on Restoring the Chesapeake Bay

by kking
beautiful sunset over the bay

Photo by John Bildahl

Open House Tuesday, March 4 from 3 to 8 p.m. in Annapolis

Three decades after the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement was signed, Chesapeake Bay Program partners and jurisdictions are seeking public input on a new agreement that will guide the next chapter of restoration across the watershed, recommitting citizens, stakeholders and local governments to conservation success.

“We create a healthy Bay through plentiful habitats for wildlife, sustainable fisheries, conservation efforts and citizen actions that support clean air and water,” says Governor Martin O’Malley, current Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council. “The Bay belongs to all of us — the input of our citizens, private businesses, watershed groups and local governments is critical to the success of our future restoration efforts.”

To maximize citizen and stakeholder participation in this important effort, the State of Maryland will hold an Open House on Tuesday, March 4 from 3 to 8 p.m. in Annapolis. The event offers an opportunity for all Marylanders to learn more about the agreement, speak with experts and knowledgeable staff, and provide input to ensure the best possible final agreement for the State and the Bay. The Open House will be held at St. John’s College, Mellon Hall, Francis Scott Key Auditorium Lobby, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland. Click here for more information.

The public comment period is open until March 17, 2014, and citizens can also provide feedback through the Chesapeake Bay Program website.

The draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement outlines a new plan for collaboration across the Bay’s political boundaries and clarifies the Bay Program’s vision and values. It establishes a series of interrelated goals and outcomes that will achieve results to protect and restore the Bay, its tributaries and the lands that surround them, as well as the health of the more than 17 million people who live here.

By signing the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, Bay Program partners commit to implementing the actions needed to attain a healthy and vibrant Bay watershed. Agreement signatories will include: the states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government. This agreement also marks the first time that Delaware, New York and West Virginia will participate as signatories and full partners of the Bay Program.

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