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.

A Local Government Guide to the Chesapeake Bay from Chesapeake Bay Program on Vimeo.

Local government actions determine the health and vitality of our communities, as well as that of our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Local leaders with an understanding of their water resources can implement economic and policy incentives that support conservation actions while also meeting other community needs such as economic development, infrastructure resiliency, public health, and education.

The Modules

A Local Government Guide to the Chesapeake Bay is a series of 7 educational modules designed to inform and empower local decision making. They were developed by the federal Chesapeake Bay Program in collaboration with subject matter experts and local government officials.

Each module includes a fact sheet and slides that cover the following:

  • 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.

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 WaterFact Sheet

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.