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 (BMP) 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 how water quality responds to management actions.

Technical Information

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 BMP data to (a) confirm that practices are there, (b) confirm these practices are still operating correctly and (c) ensure accurate pollutant reduction efficiency information is included in our modeling tools.
  • Through BMP Expert Panels, establishes and refines the pollution reduction values associated with BMPs and verifies the effectiveness and efficiency of these practices.
  • Incorporates improved data and information related to water quality, pollution load transport, land use and the impacts of population growth, climate change and the Conowingo Dams into our modeling tools.
  • Assesses various watershed model calibration methods with the goal of improving local watershed results.
  • Uses co-benefits as a catalyst to increase implementation by aligning with priorities and goals beyond water quality.
  • Uses benefits associated with existing BMPs (beyond water quality improvements) to identify new funding opportunities and opportunities to increase implementation.

Ecosystem Response

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 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 a.
  • 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.
  • The relationship between improvements in water quality and the recovery of fish and shellfish habitat.