CHARLESTON, W.Va. (June 16, 2014) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced West Virginia’s partnership with the Chesapeake Executive Council and the signing of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, supporting a six-state region that includes thousands of streams and rivers, and close to 17 million people.
The Potomac River, which flows through West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, drains into the Bay.
“By continuing our efforts to ensure a cleaner, healthier Chesapeake Bay, we are also supporting our state’s robust tourism industry and the miles of rivers and streams that provide our families and visitors with recreational opportunities to enjoy all that’s wild and wonderful about the Mountain State,” Tomblin said.
Since the state signed the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Memorandum of Understanding in 2002, West Virginia has made significant progress in meeting the goals outlined by the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan, a key component of the state’s partnership efforts developed by the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture and West Virginia Conservation Agency, including: implementation of new uses for poultry litter by the state’s farmers; education and outreach efforts to reduce nutrients and sediments; construction of fencing and other containment measures to keep livestock out of streams; adoption of stormwater ordinances to reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering streams; and renovation and construction of new wastewater treatment facilities to meet pollution reduction goals for nutrients.
“I want to recognize the commitment and hard work West Virginia’s agricultural community has put into protecting local waters over the past several years as they have spent incredible amounts of their own money to voluntarily accomplish all that has been asked of them,” Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick said. “I ask farmers to stay the course and continue implementation of best management practices on agricultural lands. Clean water not only benefits West Virginia but also its downstream neighbors.”
Eight West Virginia counties - Pendleton, Grant, MIneral, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson - are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.