Governor Hochul Joins Chesapeake Executive Council to Sign Landmark Climate Directive | WIVT
From the Chesapeake Bay program:
At the meeting, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and CBC President David Bulova joined their colleagues in signing a directive that commits the Chesapeake Bay program to tackle growing threats climate change in all aspects of the partnership’s work. In particular, the Bay program partners will use their world-class scientific, modeling, monitoring and planning capacities to prioritize the communities, working lands and habitats most vulnerable to the risks that climate change poses to the region. .
“I firmly believe that by working together as a region in a bipartisan fashion, we can and will continue to find real and sensible solutions to tackle climate change and protect the Chesapeake Bay,” said the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan. “These challenges are too great to lose this opportunity to act now.”
Ahead of the public meeting where the directive was signed, Council members, designates and guests joined Pamela Northam, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and educators including Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture, Melissa Deas, Acting Chief Resilience Officer for the District of Columbia and Mark Luckenbach, Associate Dean of Research and Advisory Services at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) aboard a VIMS vessel for their own meaningful educational experience of the watershed , a term unique to the Chesapeake Bay Program describing the environmental education of students on and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
On board, participants were able to see with their own eyes an area considered zero for climate change. The Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area experiences one of the highest rates of sea level rise and coastal flooding on the East Coast. The Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework notes that sea level in the region has seen a relative sea level rise of over 18 inches over the past 100 years and is expected to continue to rise at an even faster rate in the future due to precipitation more abundant and other extreme weather conditions. Members, designates and guests also considered potential solutions to tackle climate impacts, including tree canopies, a living shoreline, and an oyster restoration site.
Conversations also focused on climate inequity, reaffirming the actions of the Council from the previous year, when they signed a declaration prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in all work. of the Bay program. In the new implementation, Directive n ° 21-1 Collective action for climate change, the Bay program is specifically committed to prioritizing marginalized communities by providing the necessary resources, including a focus on wetlands, tree canopy and environmental literacy, to adapt to the impacts of change climate.
“The climate directive we are signing today is the latest example of the importance of this partnership,” said Chesapeake Bay Commission Chairman David Bulova. “Collective action allows us to apply the best possible science so that we can understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change and prioritize resources to our most vulnerable communities. We need to do this if we want a more resilient landscape and watershed. “
In June 2014, the Executive Board signed the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, with the vision of promoting an ecologically and economically sustainable watershed with clean water, abundant life, conserved lands and access to water, a dynamic cultural heritage and a diversity of citizens and committed stakeholders.
Established over 37 years ago, the Chesapeake Executive Council is responsible for directing the political agenda and setting the conservation and restoration goals of the regional watershed partnership, the Chesapeake Bay Program. Members include the Governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the President of the CBC and the Administrator of the EPA on behalf of the government. federal. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam currently chairs the Chesapeake Executive Council, which will then meet in Richmond, Va., In December 2021.
“A healthier Chesapeake Bay depends on a focused, science-based approach that takes climate change into account. It will take bold and urgent action to reach our goal of a fully restored bay by 2025, ”Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said. “Virginia is committed to working diligently with its watershed partners to deliver on this commitment in a resilient, practical and cost-effective way that benefits our vast waterways, our environment and our economy. “