The Chesapeake Bay Commission is a policy leader in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As a tri-state legislative assembly representing Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Commission's leadership covers a full spectrum of Bay issues: from managing living resources and conserving land, to protecting water quality. By combining its unique access to both the legislative and executive branches of each Bay state with well-honed skills in research, policy-development and consensus building, the Commission has achieved consistently strong and effective results in pursuit of Bay restoration goals.
The legislation creating the Commission, which was adopted by the General Assemblies in each member state, specified multiple specific goals that still guide the Commission today:
- to assist the legislatures in evaluating and responding to mutual Bay concerns;
- to promote intergovernmental cooperation and coordination for resource planning;
- to promote uniformity of legislation where appropriate;
- to enhance the functions and powers of existing offices and agencies; and
- to recommend improvements in the management of Bay resources.
CBC is one of six signatories to all the Bay agreements and a member of the Chesapeake Executive Council, helping to set region-wide policy to advance Bay restoration. Commission members – most of them elected officials – work on multiple levels to advance and implement those policies by consulting with their respective governors, partnering with colleagues in the general assemblies and at the local level, and petitioning the U.S. Congress. Members work with a wide range of stakeholders, representing the diversity of interests whose lives touch the watershed.
With over 40 years of work behind it, the Commission has earned its reputation as a regional, bi-partisan leader. It has made remarkable strides in learning the complex workings of an enormous estuary, determining the federal and state actions that are needed to sustain its living resources, and persuading its colleagues in the general assemblies and executive branches to act.