Significant efforts have been taken and resources expended throughout the 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed to restore the water quality and living resources of the Bay. Virginia's efforts are guided through the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and the Chesapeake Bay Program.
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a multi-governmental cooperative partnership between Virginia; Pennsylvania; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA works locally through its Chesapeake Bay Program located in Annapolis, Md. The top executive from each Bay program participant -- the governors of each state, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the EPA administrator, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission chairman -- make up the Chesapeake Executive Council, which has been directing the Bay restoration since 1983.
Representatives from each of the jurisdictions, along with officials from other federal agencies, local governments and citizen representatives, meet regularly to carry out the policies set by the Chesapeake Executive Council's Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.
DEQ works with other state agencies, local governments and citizens through its Chesapeake Bay Program in these general areas: nutrient point source reduction, toxic substance reduction, a monitoring program and other goals set out in the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement. The Bay TMDL addresses all segments of the Bay and its tidal tributaries that are on the impaired waters list for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. As with all TMDLs, a maximum aggregate watershed pollutant loading necessary to achieve the Chesapeake Bay’s water quality standards has been identified.