(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Today, Maryland released its draft "Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan" for public review. When final, this plan will provide the roadmap for the state to meet its commitments to reduce pollution under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by 2025. The document outlines Maryland's proposed strategies to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment. The five other states in the watershed as well as the District of Columbia, will also be working to achieve their Phase III WIP plans during the same timeframe.
Following the release of Maryland"s draft plan, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost issued the following statement:
"Maryland has made progress cleaning up its waterways. But we know based on the latest scientific assessments that the state must quicken the pace in several key areas to meet and maintain the goals of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by 2025. We are diligently examining the draft plan to make sure it will get the job done.
"In this next phase, the state must accelerate work to reduce polluted runoff generated in urban and suburban areas and ensure that developers offset pollution created from their projects. In the agricultural sector, Maryland should increase investments in cost-effective projects with long-term value such as forested buffers and rotational grazing for livestock pastures. These priorities must also be accompanied by funding and technical assistance to help counties and cities implement the plan on the local level.
"We are beginning to see the effects of the Clean Water Blueprint in the Bay: increased underwater grasses, improving water clarity, and smaller dead zones. But those steps forward can be reversed if the state fails to set and meet robust goals in this final phase."