Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Sustain, restore and conserve


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President Obama Issues Chesapeake Bay Executive Order

On May 12, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Chesapeake Bay Restoration and Protection Executive Order 13508. The Executive Order recognizes the Chesapeake Bay as a national treasure and calls on the federal government to lead a renewed effort to restore and protect the nation's largest estuary and its watershed.

The Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration Executive Order established a Federal Leadership Committee to oversee the development and coordination of reporting, data management and other activities by agencies involved in Bay restoration. The committee is chaired by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and includes senior representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation and others.

The Service is one of ten Federal agencies that developed seven draft reports, released on September 9. These draft reports identify strategies to accelerate cleanup and restoration of the nation's largest estuary and its vast watershed. On behalf of the Department of the Interior, the Service co-led development of the draft Habitat and Living Resources Report (202(g)), which identifies actions that will apply science and technologies to improve management decisions for habitats and living resources.

The Federal Leadership Committee will evaluate the draft reports and consult with bay jurisdictions to refine the recommendations. On November 9, a draft strategy that integrates the seven reports was released for public comment. A final strategy will be completed by May 12, 2010.

View the revised reports on Chesapeake Bay Executive Order web site. The comment period ended January 8, 2010.

Learn More about the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order

News Release (EPA)

Read the full text from the White House Briefing Room


May 12, 2010: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Federal agency partners have released a new strategy to protect and restore the 64,000 square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed. The agencies will work closely with communities to implement the actions in the strategy, including conserving 2 million acres of undeveloped land and protecting and restoring habitat for key species such as oysters, black ducks, and brook trout. The agencies will be accountable to achieve specific milestones every two years to ensure measurable progress.

Read the strategy (

March 22, 2010: Draft Environmental Goals and Outcomes Released for Executive Order
As part of developing a new strategy for restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, the Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order has released a document that includes a draft vision for a restored Bay watershed, environmental goals, and measurable outcomes of planned actions.

Public comments can be submitted by April 2. The draft vision, goals and measurable outcomes will be modified based on public feedback and a revised version will be paired with detailed actions in the final strategy to be released by May 12.

For more: Visit to read and provide comments on the draft Executive Order goals framework.

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America. Its waters provide food and habitat for an abundance of fish and wildlife. It serves as a highway for commerce, a playground for the public, a storehouse of food, and a home for over 16 million people who live in its vast watershed.

In recent years the Chesapeake has become less able to support the fish and wildlife it once did. Increasing amounts of nutrients, sediments, and toxic substances are causing serious ecological problems in the Bay. Studies show alarming declines in populations of fish and wildlife and in the habitat available to them.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one of many federal, state, and local agencies and private organizations engaged in the Chesapeake Bay restoration program.

Together we are working to reverse the damage already done, to arrest further degradation and to restore the Bay to its former productivity as nearly as time, technology and resources allow.

Last updated: November 16, 2009