Photo Courtesy of Will Parson, CBP
New BMPs Improve Bay Health!
In August 2019, the seven Bay jurisdictions – DC, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia – submitted their Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) detailing how they would reach Bay Total Maximum Daily Load goals by 2025. In constructing their final WIPs, the jurisdictions had a new tool at their disposal: land policy best management practices (BMPs). Approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program earlier in the year, the new BMPs allow jurisdictions to claim pollution reduction credit for managing development and conserving wetlands, forests, and farmland.
With the watershed’s population projected to reach 20 million by 2030, the new BMPs will be significant in addressing the additional pollution associated with a growing population. By preventing the development of natural lands, jurisdictions remove a pollution source as well as maintain the landscape’s capacity to reduce pollution for future generations. Land policy BMPs also have lower associated maintenance costs than other BMPs, creating a cost-effective incentive for land conservation and sustainable development.