Chesapeake Bay

Significant efforts have been taken and resources expended throughout the 64,000 square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed to restore the water quality and living resources of the Bay.  Virginia's efforts are guided through the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

The Chesapeake Bay Program is a multi-governmental cooperative partnership between Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA works locally through its Chesapeake Bay Program Office, which is located in Annapolis, Md.  The top executive from each Bay program participant -- the governors of each state, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the EPA administrator, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission chairman -- make up the Chesapeake Executive Council, which has been directing Bay restoration efforts since 1983.

Representatives from each of the jurisdictions, along with officials from other federal agencies, local governments and citizen representatives, meet regularly to carry out the policies set by the Chesapeake Executive Council's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement signed in 2014. 

DEQ works with other state agencies, local governments and citizens through its Chesapeake Bay office in these general areas: nutrient point source reduction, toxic substance reduction, a monitoring program and other goals set out in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.  State efforts are also guided by the Bay TMDL, which addresses all segments of the Bay and its tidal tributaries that are on the impaired waters list for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. As with all TMDLs, a maximum aggregate watershed pollutant loading necessary to achieve the Chesapeake Bay’s water quality standards has been identified.

Featured Topics

Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Advisory Group

Annual Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Waters Clean-Up Plan Report. Report includes the following elements:

  • Water Quality Improvement Fund and Cooperative Nonpoint Source Pollution Programs Report
  • Funding Needs for Effective Implementation of Agricultural Best Management Practices
  • Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Waters Clean-Up Plan Report
  • Chesapeake Bay 2000 Progress Report

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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