Nutrient Load Reduction: Challenges facing the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy And Management

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy And Management


John Hill


Blue Crab; Chesapeake 2000; Chesapeake Bay; Chesapeake Bay Program (U.S.) -- Evaluation; Estuarine pollution -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.) -- Prevention; Eutrophication -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.) -- Prevention; Non-point Pollution; Nutrient Reduction; Pollution prevention -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.)


The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States supporting a complex ecosystem that sustains many habitats and the organisms that depend on them. The bay also supports economic, recreational, and cultural activities to over 16 million people residing in the watershed. Changes within the watershed have caused excessive levels of nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorous, to pollute the bay. The Chesapeake Bay Program, guided by a complex agreement, was created to address these and other issues and oversee the restoration of the bay. The most recent version of this agreement, the Chesapeake 2000, declares its continued commitment to restore the bay with over 100 goals to be met by the year 2010. Reports show that although intensive efforts have been made to promote nutrient reduction, very little reduction has actually resulted. This project described these efforts. The final results reveal obstacles affecting progress, shortcomings to current approaches and possible solutions for future implementation.

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