The Bay Watershed encompasses 6 states and works its way across 64,000 square miles of land before pouring billions of gallons of fresh water into the Chesapeake Bay on a daily basis. This fresh water, carrying essential minerals and nutrients, mixes with salty ocean water creating an estuary with ideal conditions for plant and animal life. Our nation's largest and most productive estuary, the Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to over 15 million people and thousands of plant and animal species.
The Chesapeake Bay Program
The Chesapeake Bay Program has been in place since 1985 with the goal of reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment to our streams and rivers which eventually make their way to the Chesapeake Bay. A goal of complete reduction in pollutants has been set for 2025. Reduction in pollution is achieved through the implementation of Manure Management/Nutrient Management Plans and Ag Erosion and Sediment Control/Conservation Plans as well as the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs). These BMPs include grassed waterways and diversions, no-till practices, cover crops, manure storages, concrete heavy use areas, and many other practices.
Funding is available for the implementation of BMPs on agricultural operations that have natural resource concerns on their farm. Please contact the Cumberland County Conservation District at 717-240-7812 for more details.
Chesapeake Bay Agricultural Inspection Program
The CCCD is currently inspecting farms to assess compliance with regulatory requirements under Chapter 102 for Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Control Plans and Chapter 91.36 Manure Management Planning (or equivalents). The inspections are only looking for the plans to be in place and that they are being implemented. More information about these inspections can be found at the Pennsylvania DEP Chesapeake Bay Office.
If you would like more information about these inspections or would like to voluntarily schedule an inspection for your farm, please contact: