A series of public forums will be held throughout December on the recently released draft strategy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, a document required by a Presidential Executive Order issued in May 2009. The public forums will feature officials from multiple federal agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Public feedback is important and valuable to the federal agencies. Comments may be submitted online at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net by clicking on “provide comments.” The public comment period runs through January 8, 2010. The draft strategy, also available on the website, will evolve through public comments, state consultations and agency revisions before the final strategy is published in May 2010.
The public can also submit questions about the draft strategy by recording a 30-second or less video and uploading it to YouTube with a tag of “chesapeakebayeo.” A selection of these video questions will be used at the public forums and for an online question-and-answer session with federal officials in January. People can also join conversations about the draft strategy on Facebook by visiting the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order page and clicking on discussions. Additionally, updates on Executive Order news are available through Twitter by following @chesapeakebayeo.
Public Forum Schedule
District of Columbia: Tuesday, December 1 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Penn Quarter Conference Center, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Watch a live webcast at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net
Maryland: Wednesday, December 2 – 7:00-8:30 pm
National Aquarium in Baltimore (Auditorium), 501 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Delmarva Peninsula: Thursday, December 3 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Wicomico County Civic Center (Midway Room), 500 Glen Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21804
West Virginia: Tuesday, December 8 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Holiday Inn Martinsburg, 301 Foxcroft Avenue, Martinsburg, WV 25401
New York: Thursday, December 10 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Holiday Inn Binghamton-Downtown Hotel, 2-8 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 13901
Pennsylvania: Tuesday, December 15 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Farm Show Complex & Event Center (Banquet Hall), 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Virginia: Thursday, December 17 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Nauticus National Maritime Center (Auditorium), One Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23510
On May 12, President Obama issued Executive Order 13508 on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, the first-ever presidential directive on the Bay and the first environmental Executive Order by President Obama. The order established a Federal Leadership Committee, chaired by the U.S. EPA, and with senior representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation. These agencies generated seven draft reports in September 2009 that contained recommendations for addressing key challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay and watershed.
These draft reports were integrated into a draft strategy that was released on November 9. The draft strategy contains a package of federal initiatives to restore clean water, conserve treasured places, protect fish and wildlife, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These objectives will be accomplished by empowering local efforts, making decisions based on science and forging a new era of federal leadership and accountability. Close collaboration of efforts with the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia is also critical.
source: EPA press release