Local Government Guide to the Chesapeake Bay

The Local Government Guide to the Chesapeake Bay is a seven-module series created to support decision-making by local officials.

Decisions made by local leaders set the course for their communities. Their actions determine the health and vitality of their jurisdictions, as well as that of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

Communities can achieve win-win outcomes by prioritizing local economic development, infrastructure resiliency, public health, and education while also protecting the environment.

The modules will be released periodically over the fall and winter months of 2021/22.

The Modules

Each module includes slides focused on learning objectives, possible actions, and information resources.

  • What You’ll Learn — Learning objectives and the questions answered throughout the module.
  • What You Can Do — Actions to engage a community and possible financial help to support local actions.
  • To Learn More — Resources for further learning about each of the module topics.

Each module includes statistics and data to support its learning objectives and a glossary defining key words. A fact sheet is included for each module.

Module 1: How Your Watershed Works

How Your Watershed Works provides foundational knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and water cycle and connects the importance of a healthy watershed to the economic development, public health and safety, infrastructure maintenance and finance, and education priorities of local government officials.

Module 2: Foundations of Clean Water

Foundations of Clean Water provides an overview of the laws and agreements relevant to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. These protections are the foundations for healthy local waterways across the region.

Module 3: Clean Water for the Economy

Clean Water for the Economy highlights the economic importance of clean water and healthy habitats to lucrative fisheries, like blue crab and oyster, and recreational activities, like hunting, bird watching, and fishing.

Module 4: Capitalizing on the Benefits of Trees

Capitalizing on the Benefits of Trees explains how tree canopy, forest buffers, and forest conservation can provide a broad spectrum of benefits for local communities, from economic development to significant public health and safety benefits.

Module 5: Preserving Local Character and Landscapes

Preserving Local Character and Landscapes highlights the economic, ecological, cultural, and recreational value of the conserved landscapes around the Chesapeake Bay watershed to the people and communities of the region. Conserving these landscapes protects water quality, quality of life, and the many community values associated with these lands.

Module 6: Protecting Your Infrastructure Through Stormwater Resiliency

Protecting Community Infrastructure Through Stormwater Resiliency provides an overview on how managing stormwater runoff and increasing resiliency can mitigate flooding and flood-related damages to local community infrastructure, while also improving water quality.

Module 7: Building the Workforce of Today and Tomorrow

Building the Workforce of Today and Tomorrow highlights the growth in stormwater management and green infrastructure projects and the importance of educating a workforce for tomorrow.