Chesapeake Bay Program

MD - Chesapeake Executive Council acts on climate change

Regional leaders see firsthand how a changing climate is impacting the Bay watershed

Representatives from the Chesapeake Bay watershed states, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gathered recently to discuss the impacts of climate change on the 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed — stretching from Cooperstown, N.Y., to their meeting location at the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Va.

At the meeting, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and CBC Chair David Bulova joined their colleagues in signing a directive that commits the Chesapeake Bay Program to address the increasing threats of climate change in all aspects of the partnership’s work.

In particular, Bay Program partners will utilize their world-class scientific, modeling, monitoring and planning capabilities to prioritize the communities, working lands and habitats that are most vulnerable to the risks that a changing climate is bringing to the region.

“I strongly believe that by working together as a region in a bipartisan way, we can and we will continue to find real, commonsense solutions to address climate change and to protect the Chesapeake Bay,” said Hogan. “These challenges are too important to lose this opportunity to take action now.”

Prior to the public meeting where the directive was signed, members of the council, designees and guests joined Pamela Northam, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia; and educators, including Imani Black, the founder of Minorities in Aquaculture; Melissa Deas, acting chief resiliency officer from the District of Columbia; and Mark Luckenbach, associate dean of research and advisory service at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) on-board a VIMS vessel for their own “Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience” — a term that is unique to the Chesapeake Bay Program in describing student environmental education about and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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