Chesapeake Watershed Public Access Plan

Public access to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed could improve by more than 20 percent by 2025 if a new plan is implemented.

The Chesapeake Watershed Public Access Plan includes an overview of public access to significant streams, rivers, and bays in the Chesapeake watershed, including portions of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The plan is a product of the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, developed in response to Executive Order 13508. The strategy aims to increase public access to the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries by adding 300 new public access sites by 2025.

The plan calls for the National Park Service in conjunction with watershed states to “develop a public access plan to inform and guide expansion of Chesapeake watershed public access.”

The plan was produced by a Public Access Action Team, which includes people involved in public access planning and implementation in each of the Chesapeake watershed states, the District of Columbia, and the National Park Service.

The Chesapeake Watershed Public Access Plan:

– Summarizes the demand for public access in the Chesapeake watershed

– Outlines the process, steps, and definitions used for developing this plan

– Establishes the baseline of existing public access sites

– Depicts specific potential public access sites that can could be developed in the future, as well as areas and stretches requiring additional attention

– Describes planning challenges to be considered in adding new access sites

– Summarizes findings and sets out next steps for implementing the plan and increasing access

source: National Park Service

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