Draft Conowingo Watershed Implementation Plan Available for Review and Comment

chesapeake bay programThe Chesapeake Bay Program is soliciting public input on the draft Conowingo Watershed Implementation Plan.

The Conowingo WIP was developed collaboratively by a steering committee consisting of representatives from the Chesapeake Bay Commission and each Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdiction—Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia—and supported by the Center for Watershed Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency.

WIPs are detailed strategies that outline actions to be taken to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollutants flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Each watershed jurisdiction has developed their own WIP detailing how they plan to meet their pollutant reduction targets under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.

In 2019, the EPA announced it had awarded nearly $600,000 for three projects to further the Conowingo WIP, including support for overseeing its development and implementation to the Center for Watershed Protection. Each watershed jurisdiction contributed a portion of their EPA Chesapeake Bay grant funding to the award.

The Conowingo WIP identifies actions to be taken by each of the watershed jurisdictions to reduce the additional nitrogen and phosphorus pollution resulting from the inability of the reservoir behind the dam to trap nutrients from flowing downstream into the Bay. The WIP is the first phase in this effort and will be followed by a detailed financing strategy.

The Chesapeake Bay Program values input from all stakeholders, including individual residents, businesses, watershed groups and local governments. Comments on the draft WIP are welcomed between Wednesday, October 14, 2020 and Monday, December 21, 2020. Feedback will help the Chesapeake Bay Program better evaluate the feasibility, costs and approach of the WIP, while informing the future financing strategy and implementation of the plan.

Interested parties can offer input by submitting comments to the Center for Watershed Protection at CWIP@chesapeakebay.net.  Any questions related to the draft WIP may also be directed to this email address.

A webinar that provides additional information about the draft Conowingo WIP may be accessed at www.chesapeakebay.net/who/group/conowingo_watershed_implementation_plan_steering_committee.


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