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The Chesapeake Bay Program was built upon the idea that federal and state governments need to collaborate to fully restore the Bay’s health. The Bay Program partnership brings together leaders and experts from a vast range of groups to achieve a shared vision of a healthy Bay.

Why are partnerships important?

The Chesapeake Bay watershed spans numerous political boundaries. As a result, many different agencies and organizations need to work hand in hand to clean up the Bay.

Partnerships achieve better environmental results and save time and money because they:

  • Bring together expertise, authority and resources from a broad range of organizations
  • Encourage involvement among many stakeholders
  • Promote a more complete understanding of Bay issues
  • Consolidate and coordinate the efforts of many groups
  • Allow organizations to complement and learn from each other while avoiding duplication

Who are the Bay Program partners?

The Bay Program partnership includes:

  • 19 federal agencies
  • Nearly 40 state agencies and programs in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia
  • Approximately 1,800 local governments, represented through the Local Government Advisory Committee
  • More than 20 academic institutions, represented through the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee
  • More than 60 non-governmental organizations, including businesses, non-profits and advocacy groups

Visit our Bay Program Partners page for a full list of Bay Program partners.

How do Bay Program partners work together?

Partnerships form the foundation of the Bay Program. The original 1983 Chesapeake Bay Agreement states that “a cooperative approach is needed among the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Maryland, the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the District of Columbia to fully address the extent, complexity, and sources of pollutants entering the Bay.”

Bay Program partners come together through the program’s goal teams, workgroups and committees. For example, the Habitat goal team comprises experts on habitat-related issues from throughout the Bay region. These experts evaluate data, share best practices, and report on progress toward health and restoration goals.

Bay Program partners also work together in the field and on the water. The Nontidal Monitoring Water Quality Network is one example of the Bay Program partnership in action on the ground. Through this network, eight state and federal agencies monitor water quality and streamflow at dozens of sites throughout the Bay watershed. Bay Program partners use this data to evaluate their pollution reduction efforts.

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