Federal Agencies Offer President Strong Recommendations to Clean-Up Major Pollution Sources in Chesapeake Bay

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 10, 2009) -- Seven federal agencies today delivered recommendations to the President that will greatly improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

In May, President Obama issued an Executive Order that recognized the Bay as a national treasure and called for federal leadership in protecting the nation’s largest estuary. The Executive Order called for these reports to be developed. NRDC has been working to incorporate recommendations to improve agricultural practices, as well as reduce urban and stormwater runoff pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture were among the agencies involved in drafting the recommendations. These reports, coupled with strong legislation announced by Senator Cardin, the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Restoration Act, outline a bold new approach to cleaning up our nation's largest estuary. The reports can be found online at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net.

A statement follows from Nancy Stoner, Co-Director of the Water Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“These agencies have put together strong recommendations that give the President a solid blueprint for improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The federal government’s plan tackles the biggest challenges to a healthy estuary – from contaminated runoff from our cities and crops, to massive manure pollution at factory farms, which NRDC has fought to stop for more than a decade.

“With this federal help, we can make real progress toward a healthy Chesapeake – addressing dangerous algal blooms, ridding the water of pathogens, and reviving the seafood and tourism industries that have been plagued by pollution. This is a new opportunity to get it right in the Bay, and to show the rest of the nation that it can be done.”