In May 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13508 for Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration. This Order directs the Federal government to increase efforts and expertise “to protect and restore the health, heritage, natural resources, and the social and economic value of the nation’s largest estuarine ecosystem and the natural sustainability of its watershed”. As part of the EO, a Federal Leadership Committee prepared a new strategy, in consultation with the States, which provides a roadmap for restoration activities until 2025. The strategy has four essential goals:
restore clean water
sustain fish and wildlife
conserve land and increase public access
Four supporting strategies will help achieve these goals:
expand citizen stewardship
develop environmental markets
respond to climate change
The USGS, in collaboration with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has the lead for two of the supporting strategies: to respond to climate change and to strengthen science. Adapting ecosystem-based management strategies to improve the efficiency and accountability of Chesapeake Bay activities centers on three main efforts:
- Improve models to help partners target restoration and protection activities,
- Enhance monitoring to assess progress toward environmental outcomes, and
- Evaluate the effectiveness of restoration and protection actions and policies.
The Federal agencies prepare an annual action plan and progress report each year that summarizes joint activities to support the strategy.