US Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District

Draft Comprehensive Plan and Restoration Roadmap

The draft Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Water Resources and Restoration Plan (CBCP) identified and evaluated problems, needs, and opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed using an integrated water resources management approach. The team conducted geospatial analyses to identify high-quality

Goal: areas for potential conservation, degraded areas for restoration, and gaps in restoration actions or duplication of efforts. This watershed assessment was undertaken in cooperation with Chesapeake Bay stakeholders and partners and employed a collaborative approach to watershed planning, seeking to avoid duplication of ongoing or planned actions of other federal, state, or local agencies or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the watershed (past or present).  

The primary goal of the CBCP is to provide a comprehensive and integrated restoration plan to assist with implementation of the 2014 Bay Agreement by:

  • Effectively and efficiently engaging Bay stakeholders to identify problems, needs, and opportunities in the watershed and avoid duplication of ongoing or planned actions by others;
  • Leveraging existing geospatial data to identify locations for restoration opportunities to maximize co-benefits (the set of multiple benefits or synergies returned from an explicit action to address multiple 2014 Bay Agreement outcomes) and making the most efficient use of implementation resourcing; and
  • Determining where and how USACE programs could be used to support implementation.

Objectives:

  1. Develop a comprehensive, strategic, and integrated water resources plan to guide the implementation of projects to assist in meeting the 2014 Bay Agreement objectives.
  2. Identify areas for aquatic ecosystem restoration, protection, or preservation to assist in meeting the 2014 Bay Agreement objectives.
  3. Identify at least one project in each of the six states and District of Columbia that can be considered for implementation or technical assistance by USACE and that supports the 2014 Bay Agreement objectives.
  4. Identify new policies or programs or improve upon existing policies and programs that will help achieve an environmentally and economically sustainable and resilient Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Draft Report Documents:

Draft Products:

Comments and Data Collection

  • Please use the forms below to submit public input and/or Candidate Restoration Data Requests.
  • Electronic and mailed comments should be submitted/post marked by July 16, 2018.
  • Please send mail comments to:
Attn: Angie Sowers
US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
2 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21201

 

Public Feedback Form

Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Water Resources and Restoration Plan Public Feedback Form - We are seeking comments specifically on how the results of the analyses will provide value to and be used by stakeholders. Input received on the draft report and appendices will help inform the final report, which will be submitted to Congress in summer 2019. The final report will identify at least one project in each state and the District of Columbia that can be considered for implementation or technical assistance by the Corps or local jurisdictions.


Candidate Restoration Data Request

We are requesting GIS data in Esri shapefile or geodatabase format.  Points, lines, or polygons are acceptable but the more detail the better.  If the requested info is not already documented in the GIS attribute table or metadata, please fill out the form below to accompany the GIS data. Background- One of the end products of the CBCP is to recommend AT LEAST one ecosystem restoration project per Bay state that USACE could partner with a non-federal agency to implement. We are looking for projects with minimal risk and uncertainty that can be implemented without further research, complex modeling or data collection to achieve immediate, meaningful environmental benefits to the Chesapeake Bay. The collected data will be screened and used to identify strategic partnerships and funding sources to implement recommendations (i.e. projects).

Frequently Asked Questions

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The CBCP will result in a plan that provides a single, comprehensive, and integrated restoration plan to guide the implementation of projects within the Chesapeake Bay estuary and will be developed to avoid duplication of any ongoing or planned actions of other Federal, State and local agencies and nongovernmental organizations. The development of the CBCP relies heavily on collaboration between local, state, and Federal agencies and NGOs to identify opportunities for protection, preservation, and/or restoration within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The CBCP will identify the ecological needs, problems, and opportunities in the watershed and will identify the environmental restoration projects that can be implemented to achieve overall watershed restoration goals in an integrated manner. To the maximum extent practicable, the CBCP will identify at least one project for each of the basin states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and at least one project for the District of Columbia. The CBCP will identify an implementation strategy that specifies the scope, goals, and timing and extent of proposed projects and anticipated benefits as well as any necessary order of implementation in the case of dependencies. A core principle of the CBCP will be to maximize the unique added value of USACE expertise and resources in the multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary, and multi-scalar aquatic ecosystem restoration efforts underway by Federal and non-Federal partners in the region.

Recommended projects outlined in the CBCP will not have detailed designs or costs and will not have any associated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation. A follow-on study/design/NEPA documentation will be required for implementation.

Following the completion of the CBCP, the next step is implementation of a project for each of the basin states and the District of Columbia, dependent upon funding availability. The CBCP will give priority to those projects with minimal risk and uncertainty that can be implemented without further research, complex modeling or data collection to achieve immediate, meaningful environmental benefits to the Chesapeake Bay. However, some projects may require additional feasibility level study or designs – along with associated approvals – leading to implementation.

In addition to projects that potentially may be implemented by USACE, the CBCP will identify potential projects or actions that may be implemented by other Federal, state, and local entities under their own authorities.

The CBCP is cost-shared between USACE and the non-Federal sponsor, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The cost share is 75% Federal and 25% non-Federal.

The two year study duration is identified in the Implementation Guidance for Section 4010(a) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014), which states: The CBCP should be completed within three years after execution of the agreement for the comprehensive assessment. Bay-wide geospatial analyses and report writing has occurred, leading to the collection of stakeholder and public input and draft recommendations.  The final report will then be submitted to Congress by summer 2019.

Current USCACE efforts include reef habitat, submerged aquatic vegetation, and wetland restoration; beach nourishment; and streambank stabilization and stream restoration. Similarly, NFWF, the cost share partner, is involved in wetland, reef habitat, and riparian buffer restoration; installation of livestock exclusion stream fencing; and reconnecting streams and rivers for fish passage.
Due to wide ranging, and often differing problems present throughout the watershed, the issues focused on in each state (DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, and WV) and the District of Columbia may vary. To identify the issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the CBCP team will perform a three tier multi-scalar analysis using readily available geospatial data.

The first and largest scale analysis (Tier 1) will be completed across the entire extent of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The analysis will use a number of watershed health indicators, e.g. black duck, wetlands, SAV, and future/projected land use and sea level change, to prioritize high value habitats and restoration needs for the entire watershed and identify broad USACE project types, programs, and authorities that can be utilized to address those needs.

The second scale analysis (Tier 2) will be completed corresponding to the scale of each of the Bay states and the District of Columbia. The purpose of this second, state-scale analysis is to present the results of the CBCP Tier 1 analysis at the state level for each of the basin states, which have regulatory requirements and commitments to continue to strive toward achieving Bay restoration goals. Presumably, this information could be used to align state restoration activities and ensure advances are made towards the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The third scale analysis (Tier 3) identifies a priority subwatershed per jurisdiction, pinpointing potential actions that could be taken at the local scale. It is envisioned that the subwatershed scale analyses would provide the jurisdictions with additional assistance in
further developing a smaller scale watershed action plan. Further coordination with the jurisdictions on the extent of the analyses will be completed and constrained by the schedule to finalize the CBCP by July 2018.

The intent of the multi-scalar approach in the CBCP is to be able to present at the Bay-wide scale what actions are needed to focus Bay restoration efforts that crosses state lines. After completion of each of the analyses, public and private organizations can then align with state and local agencies to discuss which actions will be taken to contribute to restoration efforts at a state and local level.

CBCP efforts will augment efforts that are already underway to protect the Bay and promote healthy aquatic and terrestrial environments. The CBCP supports the Chesapeake Bay Agreement and the Watershed Implementation Plans by utilizing existing data and data that has originated from the Bay Agreement and Watershed Implementation Plans to find gaps in current protection, preservation, and/or restoration efforts. The CBCP will then identify projects that fall under USACE authority for implementation. Additionally, USACE may identify other projects that do not align with its existing mission or authorities that could be fulfilled by other local, state, and Federal agencies and NGOs. This information will be presented to the furthest extent practicable, and could be used to inform the development of Bay state Phase III watershed implementation plans, scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2018.