The updated Watershed Agreement, signed by the six Bay states, District of Columbia, and Federal Government in 2014, for the first time includes a goal for Citizen Stewardship. The signatories to the Agreement understand that the health of our waters requires much more than regulatory action, legislation, or large capital projects. For a healthy Bay, we need the individual participation of the 17 million residents who live within the drainage area of the Chesapeake.
Each resident is a steward of his on her own actions – at home, in our own yards, at work and school, as we move around our neighborhoods and towns, and beyond. Small actions by each of us will add up to much healthier waters, leading to safer places for our kids and pets to swim; local fish, crabs, oysters, and clams that are much safer to eat; and a Bay that returns to a healthier condition that some can remember from decades ago.
Once developed, this Index will be a public instrument that will keep everyone informed of progress towards the Citizen Stewardship Goal:
Increase the number and the diversity of local citizen stewards and local governments that actively support and carry out the conservation and restoration activities that achieve healthy local streams, rivers and a vibrant Chesapeake Bay.