Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is about more than science. It's also about the people who are improving their communities by reducing pollution and protecting public health, fragile habitats, and the Bay's multibillion-dollar fishery, seafood, and recreation industries. These case studies show how local governments, citizens, and private companies are installing water quality best management practices (BMPs) to keep waterways healthy, beautiful, and economically viable. The stories below highlight some of the region's best projects, showcasing how communities can solve big problems like polluted runoff while also generating other benefits. Click here for more details about the search columns and definitions.
To view the case studies, search by key word or filter the case studies using the filter options. Use the map to find case studies by location. Use the table below to view more details about each case study. Click on the title of each case study to view the case study PDF.
Partners / Funders Source
Community and Economic Benefits
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Fields and Definitions
The column headers also serve as search criteria. These search criteria, defined below, will help you filter, sort, and view the case studies contained within this tool.
CAST Topics: Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST) is a suite of modeling tools that replicate conditions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Users specify a geographical area, and then select best management practices (BMPs) to apply on that area. CAST then builds the scenario and provides estimates of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment load reductions. Planners and property owners can use the list of BMPs in CAST to identity which practices can best reduce pollutant loads in their local area - and by how much. The list of CAST Topics in this database and search tool are derived from the CAST - BMPs (chesapeakebay.net).
Non-CAST Topics: BMPs that are not part of the CAST list of BMPs but still provide nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment load reductions
BMPs Installed: General BMP categories to help you filter, view, and sort case studies
State: Location of each case study within the Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdictions (Delaware; Maryland; New York; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington, DC; and West Virginia)
Locality: Lists the town, city, or county where the case study project is located
Size: Defined using the MS4 definition (Phase I [large], Phase II [medium], not defined [small])
Large: case study is in a city that has a population of 250,000 or more
Medium: case study is in a city that has a population of 100,000–249,999
Small: case study is in a city that has a population of less than 100,000
Rural: Case study takes place on or within farmland
Urban: Case study takes place on or within an area with dense population and a large amount of impervious surfaces
Suburban: Case study takes place within a community or neighborhood that is less densely populated than the cities they surround
Partners/Funders Source: Organizations that either provided funding for the project or partnered by helping to plan, implement, and maintain the project
Environmental, Community and Economic Benefits: Multiple benefits can be derived after conservation practices are installed. Benefits are also known as co-benefits or beyond environmental benefits because benefits such as community cohesion, increased property values, and improved habitat are benefits beyond the intended purpose of the conservation practice.
Goals: The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement identified goals and outcomes that the signatories for the six states and the District of Columbia will work on collectively to advance restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and its watershed. The goals articulate the desired high-level aspects of the partners’ vision, and the outcomes related to each goal are specific, time-bound, measurable targets that directly contribute to achieving that goal. Each case study is tagged with one or more Chesapeake Bay goals.
The Chesapeake Bay Program Beyond Environmental Benefits Database and Search Tool was developed to help inspire the installation of conservation practices throughout the Bay watershed. The tool identifies projects that have enhanced community and economic benefits, while improving environmental health. The projects are aligned with CAST practices so that scenarios can be used to estimate reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution. Each project also lists partners and funders and links to additional information. Many of the projects contained within the database help the Chesapeake Bay Program's progress toward the goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. If you would like to include a project in the database or have edits to an existing project, please Send Us Your Feedback. Data is expected to be updated monthly.