Chesapeake Bay Program

West Virginia’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load is guiding implementation from 2018-2025.

Please contact Alana Hartman if you would like to volunteer or participate in these efforts. This could include things like helping a local watershed group, collecting water samples, planting trees, or requesting a presentation for a group you are involved in. Also sign up for our "Tributary Team’s" quarterly e-newsletter to stay in touch about this process and specific local projects: WV Chesapeake Bay Program: Stay in Touch.


Since 2002, West Virginia has been a formal partner in the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. Our state signed on to the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which was released on December 29, 2010, established the foundation for water quality improvements embodied in the new Agreement. It drives the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reductions West Virginia committed to in our Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Tributary Team partners are in the midst of implementing the strategies in the WIP. These strategies address new, existing, and expanded sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. There are also milestones, to ensure the project stays on track.

While some commitments are carried out through permits, like wastewater treatment plant upgrades, many of the WIP strategies are voluntary and depend on homeowners, school classes, local governments, and others to do things like install rain gardens to manage runoff, take care of septic systems, or plant trees. Some real momentum and progress is occurring thanks to projects like Cacapon Institute’s CommuniTree and West Virginia Conservation Agency's Agricultural Enhancement Program (AgEP). Even more commitment of this kind by the residents, agricultural producers, and workers in the eight-county Potomac Basin is needed. Please contact us if your organization or class would like to be involved.

West Virginia is generally on track to achieve our goals so far; see the Chesapeake Progress webpage where a single jurisdiction such as West Virginia can be selected, and modeled pollutant loads from recent years vs. goals can be compared.

In addition, United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps and charts show that water quality in West Virginia’s tributaries to the Potomac River is also generally trending in the right direction.

Major pollution reductions are possible when federal, state, and local governments work together, as West Virginia’s partners have shown through wastewater treatment plant upgrades and thousands of instances and acres of agricultural best management practices. However, we must continue to stay focused, further engage people in various sectors representing pollution sources, and make progress toward West Virginia’s goals.

Volunteers from the Town of Bath at the West Virginia Project CommuniTree Tree Planting at Greenway Cemetery in Berkeley Springs in the fall of 2012.

Romney's wastewater treatment is one of several that were upgraded to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.



Additional Resources