Marylandís Chesapeake & Coastal Program collaborates with regional, state and local partners to address important Bay, coastal and ocean priorities.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO)
The Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia joined forces on June 4, 2009 to create the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) that will advance a regional approach for addressing the challenges facing our regionís coastal and ocean resources.
MARCO designated four priorities for shared action to improve ocean health:
- Coordinate protection of important habitats and sensitive and unique offshore areas on a regional scale;
- Promote improvements in the regionís coastal water quality;
- Collaborate on a regional approach to support the sustainable development of renewable energy in offshore areas; and
- Prepare the regionís coastal communities for the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal resources.
The five states have explicitly recognized the unique power of a unified regional voice to influence federal action and funding. Collaborating on a regional scale will strengthen the Mid-Atlantic Statesí voice with Congress and federal agencies in shaping the future of our coastal and offshore resources.
Chesapeake Bay Program
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that has led and directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. The Chesapeake Bay Program partners include the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; the Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government; and participating citizen advisory groups.
The Chesapeake Bay Program is America's premier watershed partnership. Each of the Bay Program partners agrees to use its own resources to implement projects and activities that advance Bay restoration. The partnership defines its collective actions through formal, voluntary agreements and provides general policy direction through consensus documents, typically called directives.
In addition to these agreements, each year the Chesapeake Executive Council meets to reaffirm its commitment to Bay restoration. New policy documents are signed annually to address emerging issues or new opportunities.
Maryland Coastal Bays Program
Part of the National Estuary Program, the Coastal Bays Program is a partnership among the towns of Ocean City and Berlin, National Park Service, Worcester County, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture, Environment, and Planning, which have come together to produce the first ever management plan for the coastal bays. Established in 1987 under the Clean Water Act, the National Estuary Program was developed to protect economically and environmentally sensitive estuaries across the United States by engaging all user groups.