NOAA Press Release – To identify and implement solutions, the Chesapeake Bay Program was formed in 1983. The dozens of partners in the Chesapeake Bay Program include federal and state agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions. Each organization brings unique knowledge, capabilities, and perspectives to this tremendous partnership. NOAA is represented in the Chesapeake Bay Program by the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, a division of NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation.
In 2014, Chesapeake Bay Program federal and state partners signed the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, including ten goals that will support the restoration and protection of the Bay watershed. NOAA efforts focus on the following goals and principles:
- Sustainable Fisheries Goal: NOAA is the federal lead for interjurisdictional fisheries management, providing scientific support for decision-making and convening state fisheries managers to discuss key resource issues. The Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team’s Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee, which includes scientists and resource managers from around the Bay watershed, analyze data to develop the annual Blue Crab Advisory Report.
- Vital Habitats Goal: NOAA has identified the Choptank River watershed as a Habitat Focus Area, bringing coordinated funding and support to advance oyster and other habitat restoration efforts in the watershed as well as to work with the community and to enhance scientific knowledge about the watershed.
- Environmental Literacy Goal: NOAA is the federal lead for K-12 education in the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership, building capacity to support hands-on outdoor education and working to embed NOAA content in schools. Recently, the Education Workgroup released the Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience to help give educators tools they need to teach about the Bay ecosystem.
- Climate Resiliency Goal: NOAA is the lead for this goal, working with a mix of federal, state, local, and nongovernmental partners to monitor and assess trends and impacts and to implement on-the-ground projects to build resilience to environmental change.
- Monitoring Principle: NOAA maintains the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System, an important monitoring system for understanding and predicting changes in the Bay ecosystem.