Study Confirms: Maintaining forests vital to health of Chesapeake Bay

The Commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania have completed a two-tier analysis of the economic benefits of meeting the Chesapeake Bay clean-up goals through the retention of forestland. The effort first tested alternative growth scenarios to see the impact of retaining more forestland. The results prove the validity of models that will help localities implement policy changes and financial incentives to better protect the Chesapeake Bay. This was followed-up by extensive discussions over the past year with local officials and other stakeholders and the project’s sponsors: the Department of Forestry and the Rappahannock River Basin Commission in Virginia, and, in Pennsylvania, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, to determine how to make it happen.

The Healthy Watersheds/Forest Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project final findings are being released today. The report commissioned by the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership concludes that retaining forests as a strategy to meet Chesapeake Bay goals is both environmentally and economically attractive to localities of all sizes, both rural and urban, and provides extensive findings and recommendations from local officials on policy and incentive options to meet both water quality and economic development objectives. read more >>