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Leaders Sign Landmark Agreement To Help Clean Chesapeake Bay

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Nick DiPasquale of the Chesapeake Bay Program recently gathered leaders to sign what some environmentalists are calling a landmark agreement to help clean up the bay.
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Nick DiPasquale of the Chesapeake Bay Program recently gathered leaders to sign what some environmentalists are calling a landmark agreement to help clean up the bay.

In Maryland, governors from states neighboring the Chesapeake Bay signed what some environmentalists are calling a landmark agreement. It not only recommits the effort to clean up the bay, but it also broadens the approach to solving the problem.

Nick DiPasquale runs the Chesapeake Bay Program, the regional partnership that has led the restoration of the Bay since 1983. This week he gathered together the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, D.C. mayor Vince Gray and group of governors, including, for the very first time, ones from the bay's headwater states of New York, West Virginia and Delaware that have long been blamed for slacking off on the Chesapeake Bay clean-up effort.

DiPasquale says this agreement has been years in the making. "We wanted to make sure that what we were proposing to do is something that we can get done," he says.

Each state's pledge will mean that a comprehensive plan will be together that will focus on restoration goals that extend beyond water quality, including climate change, toxic industrial pollution and environmental literacy.

DiPasquale says this is a big step toward hitting the benchmarks for pollution reduction in the bay by 2025, and he says the agreement shows that all of the states that contribute to problem of polluting the nation's largest estuary are now on board and working together to be part of the solution to clean it up.

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