The Chesapeake Bay Commission is a policy leader in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. As a tri-state legislative assembly representing Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Commission's leadership covers a full spectrum of Bay issues: from managing living resources and conserving land, to protecting water quality. By combining its unique access to both the legislative and executive branches of each Bay state with well-honed skills in research, policy-development and consensus building, the Commission has achieved consistently strong and effective results in pursuit of Bay restoration goals.
Twenty-one members from three states define the Commission's identity and its workload. Fifteen are legislators, five each from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, who are responsible for identifying the needs of the Bay, hearing the wishes of their constituents and determining actions that make better stewards of all of us. Completing their ranks are the governors of each state, represented by cabinet members who are directly responsible for managing their states' natural resources, as well as three citizen representatives who bring with them a unique perspective and expertise.
The Chesapeake Bay Commission was created in 1980 to coordinate Bay-related policy across state lines and to develop shared solutions. The catalyst for our creation was the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) landmark seven-year study (1976-1983) on the decline of the Chesapeake Bay. With over a quarter-century of work behind it, the Commission has earned its reputation as a regional, bi-partisan leader. It has made remarkable strides in learning the complex workings of an enormous estuary, determining the federal and state actions that are needed to sustain its living resources, and persuading its colleagues in the general assemblies and executive branches to take action.
Today, despite over two decades of effort, restoration continues to face daunting challenges. Having piloted Chesapeake 2000 (C2K) to its successful adoption during more financially solvent times, the Chesapeake Bay Commission must now help to stay the course by ensuring that sufficient resources are committed and equitable policies are adopted that will keep the restoration effort on track.