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EPA Announces Federal Strategy For Chesapeake Bay

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EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces a new federal strategy for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces a new federal strategy for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
Sabri Ben-Achour
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces a new federal strategy for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces a new federal strategy for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

A year ago, President Obama ordered six government agencies to figure out what they would do to restore the Chesapeake Bay. They've come up with an answer.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stands on a wooden deck near the Anacostia River, with a red-tailed hawk at her side. She says tackling the steady flow of pollution into the bay is no less important than fighting the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"We are holding ourselves accountable for nothing short of real, measurable results," she says.

The EPA will more strictly regulate runoff from urban stormwater and rural factory farms. The Department of Agriculture is spending $700 million to help - and require - farmers to reduce agricultural runoff.

"I just want to make clear how massive this effort is; we're looking at by 2025 restoring 180,000 acres of wetlands, and 180,000 miles of forested buffer," says Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anne Castle.

Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says he is optimistic but, "we have a healthy skepticism, having seen a number of plans that did not go implemented; we hope this is a new day."

Final limits on pollution in the bay will be set in December.

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