2025 Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) Outcome:Factors Influencing Progress
Several factors could impact our ability to put practices and controls in place to reduce nutrient and sediment loads and achieve applicable water quality standards compared to 2009 levels. These factors directly inform the management actions our partners will take to achieve the 2025 Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) outcome.
Federal agencies, state and local jurisdictions, and landholders must sustain adequate financial, technical, and regulatory capacity to complete their pollution-reducing work. The Chesapeake Bay Program will address financial needs by evaluating the cost of best management practice implementation and maintenance, considering how costs might be reduced, quantifying funding gaps, identifying new funding sources and communicating funding needs to elected officials.
Communication and Coordination
- Progress toward this outcome will require stakeholders, jurisdictions, and federal agencies to collaboratively support collective impact efforts.
- Partners will need to enhance interpretation of results to better understand water quality response to management actions.
The Chesapeake Bay Program continuously works to improve the data and information it uses to track pollution sources, loads and reductions. To do this, the partnership:
- Reviews and updates historical best management practice (BMP) data to (a) confirm these practices are still in place and (b) ensure accurate information is included in our modeling tools;
- Through BMP Expert Panels, refines the pollution reduction values associated with BMPs and verifies the effectiveness and efficiency of these practices;
- Incorporates improved data and information related to pollution load transport, land use and the impacts of population growth and climate change to our modeling tools; and
- Assesses various watershed model calibration methods with the goal of improving local watershed results; and
- Uses Co-Benefits as a catalyst to increase implementation by aligning with priorities and goals beyond water quality. Utilize benefits beyond water quality improvements associated with existing BMPs to identify new funding opportunities and opportunities to increase implementation.
Improving our understanding of the factors affecting the ecosystem’s response to pollution load reductions could better focus our management strategies and efforts. These factors include:
- The “lag time” between the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and improvements in water quality;
- The factors (in addition to nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads) that affect dissolved oxygen, water clarity, submerged aquatic vegetation and chlorophyll;
- The effects of climate change on water temperatures, sea level rise, hypoxia, river flow and storm intensity;
- The effects of impoundments, reservoirs and dams on water quality;
- The effects of plant and animal biomass on the capacity of an ecosystem to assimilate nutrients and sediment;
- The effects of population change and economic influence on restoration activities; and
- The relationship between improvements in water quality and the recovery of fish and shellfish habitat.