The Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) is a tri-state legislative commission created in 1980 to advise the general assemblies of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia on matters of Baywide concern. Twenty-one members define the Commission’s identify, determine its direction and share its workload. Fifteen are state legislators, three are cabinet-level secretaries representing their governors and three are citizen representatives. The full range of urban, suburban and rural life enjoyed in the watershed is represented on the bipartisan Commission, with each member contributing his or her unique perspective knowledge and expertise.
CBC is one of six signatories to the all of the Bay agreements and a member of the Chesapeake Executive Council, helping to set region-wide policy to advance Bay restoration. Commission members – many elected officials themselves – work on multiple levels to advance and implement those policies by consulting with their respective governors, partnering with colleagues in the general assemblies and at the local level, and petitioning the U.S. Congress. Members work with a wide range of stakeholders, representing the diversity of interests whose lives touch the watershed.
By laws enacted in the three member states more than three decades ago, the CBC is charged with addressing the broad range of issues and polices that reflect the pollution sources, land uses and human impacts in the Bay region, an area spanning six states, a 64,000 square mile watershed and 180,000 miles of tributaries and coastline. Commission members craft and secure passage of laws and policies that must balance many ecological, societal and economic concerns.
The restoration’s primary focus is on clean water, believing that restored water quality will lead to improved conditions for the resources that depend upon it.