The Chesapeake Executive Council (EC), which manages Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, met today. The meeting was the first since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) independently determined the jurisdictions are not on track to meet the 2025 goal to implement practices that will ultimately result in a restored Bay.
Last week, CBF called on the EC to demonstrate leadership, acknowledge that the states are not on track to meet the 2025 commitments, recommit to the partnership and the Bay restoration goals, and agree to develop a new plan with a specific timeline and accountability to permanently protect the Bay.
Hilary Harp Falk, CBF’s President, issued this statement:
“We appreciate that the partnership is taking action to assess current strategies and begin to chart a new course. However, the devil is in the details with what happens next, and we’ll be watching closely.
After decades of missed deadlines, the watershed and people who call it home deserve a new plan that addresses challenges like climate change and growth, builds on lessons learned, and accelerates progress. With historic new levels of investment, especially in Pennsylvania, and water quality improving, saving the Bay and its rivers and streams is still within reach. We cannot afford further delay.
Fifty years ago this month, the Clean Water Act was established to guarantee fishable and swimmable waterways for the American people. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint provides a framework—based on science and accountability—that could be successful. What has been missing to date is accountability.
By recommitting to the core principles of partnership, science, and accountability, we can still leave a healthy, resilient watershed for the next generation.”