Conservation Science
Northeast Region

Chesapeake Bay Program News

Designing Sustainable Coastal Habitats

The Chesapeake Bay Program's Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) recently released a report summarizing the "Designing Sustainable Coastal Habitats" workshop co-sponsored by the Habitat Goal Implementation Team in April 2013.  Led by then-Chairman Jeff Horan (R5 NWRS) and Chesapeake Coordination Office staff Jennifer Greiner, the workshop explored approaches for designing coastal landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed through strategic restoration and protection of habitats most likely to be sustainable in the face of multiple stressors affecting coastal ecosystems. Scientists, habitat restoration partners, and policy makers focused discussion around three themes: (1) Ecosystem Components of Coastal Habitats; (2) Capacity of Coastal Habitats to Support Fauna and Flora; and (3) Designing Sustainable Coastal Habitats in the Face of Human Development, Climate Change, and Sea Level Rise. The report outlines five specific recommendations agreed to by the workshop participants:

  • Institute a more balanced approach to Chesapeake Bay restoration by integrating water quality, habitat, and ecosystem-based species goals.
  • Expand the spatial and temporal scales used to set Bay restoration/conservation targets.
  • Align differing and complex objectives for management of living resources using an adaptive management framework, such as Structured Decision Making and Strategic Habitat Conservation.
  • Initiate a pilot study of landscape-scale restoration approaches.
  • Form a Habitat Modeling workgroup to facilitate data synthesis, coordination, and regional model development.

Next steps include hosting a STAC workshop in spring 2014 titled, "Designing Sustainable Stream Restoration Projects within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed"; reflecting expanded spatial/temporal scales for habitat restoration/conservation actions identified in Management Strategies to be developed under the new Chesapeake Watershed Agreement; and identifying potential pilot landscapes through quarterly meetings of the Goal Implementation Team Chairs, Coordinators, and staffers under the leadership of FWS Chesapeake Coordinator Mike Slattery.

Read the report (PDF - 1.76MB)

Last updated: April 23, 2014