The Chesapeake Bay “Pollution Diet”
Press Release: July 6, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (July 6, 2011) – The entire Chesapeake Bay — an estuary with a 64,000-square-mile watershed covering part of six states and the District of Columbia –is in trouble. Though there have been 25 years of actions by multi-state Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreements and citizens to preserve and protect the bay, water quality and living resources have continued to decline.
Implementation of localized total maximum daily load (TMDLs) has failed to produce improved water quality and living resources in the bay overall. After years of litigation with the EPA which, “had failed to take adequate measures to protect and restore the bay,” according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, elected officials and sport-fishing and watermen associations, a settlement was reached and The Chesapeake Bay TMDL was established.
More than 40,000 TMDLs have been established in watersheds across the country since 1992, but the recently implemented Chesapeake Bay TMDL is by far the largest and most complex. The TMDL requires a 25-percent reduction in nitrogen, 24-percent reduction in phosphorus and 20-percent reduction in sediment loads, all by 2025. Each state in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is asked to demonstrate how the reductions will be achieved through a watershed implementation plan (WIP).
The Chesapeake Bay’s TMDL lifts the interaction between civil engineers and environmental scientists to the national stage. While treatment plant upgrades clearly are in the wheelhouse of design engineers, the watershed assessments, environmental site design/low impact design for stormwater (ESD/LID), stream restoration design, wetland creation design, riparian buffer and agricultural best management practices will require more collaboration between design engineers, environmental scientists and landscape architects.
The plan will serve as a platform for other watersheds across the U.S. –Similar water quality challenges are also present in the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, the Gulf of Mexico, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, U.S.- Mexico border area waterways and South Florida.
For more information visit www.cenews.com
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