To achieve this outcome, Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to:
- Identifying and prioritizing threats to fish habitat and proposing actions to manage them;
- Compiling available data on fish habitat, habitat vulnerabilities and habitat utilization and developing a set of criteria to identify high-value fish habitat;
- Mapping and targeting high-value fish habitat for conservation and restoration and developing geospatial decision-support tools to inform the natural resource management;
- Engaging decision-makers and individuals in conversations about the land and water uses that affect and influence fish habitat; and
- Evaluating ways to enhance fish habitat protection by reviewing habitat assessments from other regions and engaging with the Atlantic Coast Fish Habitat Partnership.
These partners will also collaborate with the work being done to achieve the Forage Fish outcome.
Monitoring and assessing progress toward the outcome will occur through jurisdictions’ existing fish and habitat monitoring programs. New or expanded monitoring programs (to include early life stage and shallow-water fish monitoring) are under consideration. In addition, benthic habitat, land use and water quality data may be integrated and synthesized to help identify and target high-value fish habitat.
As part of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s partnership-wide implementation of adaptive management, progress toward this outcome was reviewed and discussed by the Management Board in August of 2019.