Gov. Ralph Northam recently joined representatives from the seven Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdictions, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Oxon Hill, Maryland for the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council. Northam emphasized the importance of the upholding the regional state-federal partnership that has shaped efforts to restore the water quality and living resource of the Chesapeake Bay watershed since its inception in the early 1980s.
“If we are true to the commitments we have all made as members of this partnership, we are capable of restoring the Chesapeake Bay by 2025,” said Governor Northam. “We must make the tough policy decisions and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our federal and state partners to execute an effective Bay cleanup effort.”
Northam highlighted recent actions by the Commonwealth to finalize its Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, a roadmap designed to guide local, state, and federal actions through 2025 and ensure Virginia meets its commitments to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution and restore the health of the Bay and its tributaries.
Northam also called attention to the significant challenges still facing the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay and recognized the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s leadership to enhance protections for striped bass starting this year.
“I am committed to working with our Bay partners to enact strong conservation measures to prevent the overfishing of striped bass up and down the coast,” said Northam. “The science is clear that we need to do more — we must take action to protect and restore this iconic fishery.”
The Chesapeake Executive Council was established over 35 years ago and is responsible for guiding the policy agenda and setting conservation and restoration goals for the regional Chesapeake Bay program partnership. The Chesapeake Executive Council consists of the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the administrator of the EPA, representing the federal government.