Action Plan in Chesapeake Bay Area Underway

May 18, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

A U.S. Coast Guard boat patrolling the waters of Chesapeake Bay outside Baltimore on routine duty. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
A U.S. Coast Guard boat patrolling the waters of Chesapeake Bay outside Baltimore on routine duty. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
Administrators from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal officials recently presented the action plan for cleaning up the Anacostia River in the capital’s Chesapeake Bay.

They discussed their continuous effort in working with the local government and the locals to clean up the pollution in the bay area.

Last year in an address, President Barack Obama said the federal government should lead the initiative to restore the watersheds, but that the progress of the restoration would also depend on local and state governments, other interested parties, and residents of the Chesapeake region.

He added that a Federal Leadership Committee would be formed specifically for managing every aspect of restoring the Chesapeake Bay area. The administrator of the EPA or his designee would sit as the chairperson of the committee.

The EPA was responsible for drafting a Chesapeake Bay Action Plan, which would describe the main initiatives that needed to be implemented to take maximal action for watershed restoration. EPA was also to submit an Annual Progress Report, which would outline the steps needed for applying the action plan and the best ways to evaluate the environmental conditions in the bay.

Last Wednesday, the EPA and other federal officials gathered after a one-year anniversary of establishing their project at the Chesapeake Bay. They unveiled their strategies in the Chesapeake Bay Action Plan report, which describes their findings and the actions they plan to take in order to improve the overall situation in the bay.

For example, according to the Executive Summary report, the test on water quality showed that around 89 of the 92 segments of the bay and its tidal waters are impaired with pollution from nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediments. The Action Plan will aim to make 60 percent of those segments pollutant free by the year 2025.

The Executive Summary report further includes various strategies, such as restoration of riparian forest buffers and maintenance of a healthy population of Blue Crabs. EPA will be responsible for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 square-miles watershed area, which, if all goes well, should achieve its target no later than 2025.