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Maryland Bay Grass Restoration Timeline


Chesapeake Bay Agreement (1983)
The first Chesapeake Bay Agreement was drafted following studies focused on the decline of bay grass populations and its causes highlighting the need to “improve and protect the water quality and living resources of the Chesapeake Bay estuarine system”.
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Chesapeake Bay Agreement (1987)
The second agreement expanded the original agreement to include several new specific goals including:

  • Reduction and control of point and non-point source nutrient pollution in an effort to improve water quality enough to support healthy populations
  • Development of a strategy to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous entering the mainstem of the Chesapeake Bay by 40%
  • Development of the elements of habitat necessary to support living resources (restoration, enhancement, and protection of bay grasses was a priority under this initiative)

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Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Management Policy (1989)
The SAV workgroup of the Chesapeake Bay Program developed this policy to protecting existing beds, set water quality objectives suitable to support bay grasses, and set bay grass restoration goals. An Implementation Plan based on these goals was drafted in 1990 to ensure that the goals put forth in the policy were attained.
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Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Water Quality and Habitat-Based Requirements and Restoration Targets: Technical Synthesis (1992)
This document was drafted to summarize the research and findings associated with the Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Management Policy and ensuing Implementation Plan
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SAV in Blue Crab Fisheries Management Plan (1997)
The Blue Crab fisheries management plan of 1997 addressed among other things, the protection and restoration of bay grasses and water quality in a continuing effort to stabilize blue crab populations.
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Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Water Quality and Habitat-Based Requirements and Restoration Targets: A Second Technical Synthesis (2000)
Revision of original Technical Synthesis to include more specific information regarding plant habitat with an emphasis on the importance of light.
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Chesapeake Bay Agreement Signed (2000)
As a result of significant losses in bay grass acreage, one component of the Chesapeake 2000 Bay Agreement specified the restoration of 114,000 acres of bay grasses.

  1. Read  The Agreement
  2. Learn more at MD DNR's Chesapeake 2000 site

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New Goal and Strategy for the Restoration and Protection of SAV Proposed by Chesapeake Bay Program (2003)
Maryland and its bay partners proposed a new goal and strategy to accelerate the protection and restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The enhanced bay grass restoration goal calls for the protection and restoration of 185,000 acres of bay grass by 2010.
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