The Chesapeake Bay Program has chosen Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley as the next chair of its executive council.
O'Malley succeeds D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who has served in the role since July of last year.
Gray says the District has since removed more than 16,000 pounds of trash from the Anacostia River and led other efforts to promote cleaner water.
"We have committed ourselves to, by the year 2032, making the Anacostia both fishable and swimmable — which sounds like either an ambitious goal, or absolute lunacy," he says.
O'Malley vows to continue pressing for more accountability and measurable goals for the bay. He says significant progress has been made to clean it up in recent years.
"Had it not been for the leadership over the last thirty years and most importantly the actions of our citizens, the Bay would have been dead decades and decades ago," he says.
The Chesapeake Executive Council is in the midst of drafting its first new Watershed agreement since the year 2000. The new document will set updated restoration goals and is expected to make the headwater states of Delaware, New York, and West Virginia full members of the Chesapeake Bay program for the first time.