ners will need to adapt to future changes (e.g., climate change) that may impact the response of the Bay to reduced loads.
In this chapter, the committee takes a broad view of its task to discuss improvements in the development and implementation of strategies to meet the sediment and nutrient reduction goals (Task 6, see Box S-1). The chapter covers two main topics. First, the committee discusses future challenges in implementing effective remediation actions, including adapting to future changes in the drivers of Bay degradation and adapting to factors, such as climate change, which may alter the mechanisms of Bay recovery. Additionally, the committee discusses the costs associated with nutrient and sediment management actions and the challenge of maintaining political and public will. Second, the committee presents a range of strategies that could be used to help the CBP meet its restoration goals. These strategies encompass a wide range of topics, including practices, policies, funding strategies, and programmatic science management changes that have promise for improving the likelihood of attaining overall restoration goals.
Several cross-cutting issues could affect the pace and likelihood of achieving CBP goals. These challenges include expanding pressures on the Bay, such as population growth and development, changes in agriculture, and climate change. Additional challenges discussed in this section include costs and political and public will.
Shifting Drivers of Bay Water Quality and Ecosystem Response
The Chesapeake Bay’s ecological integrity and, hence, economic and social value has deteriorated because the ability to prevent excess nutrients and sediment from being discharged into the Bay has not kept pace with the generation of nutrients and sediment from rapid population growth and intensification of agricultural operations. These activities, combined with new economic challenges and impacts of climate change, will continue to challenge Bay restoration efforts. The success of an enhanced focus on water quality in the Bay will be, to a large extent, dependent upon the degree to which current plans (e.g., the total maximum daily load [TMDL]) and future efforts anticipate and respond to these challenges. This section of the report discusses trends in activities that are driving water quality problems in the Bay and the role that additional stressors may play in the ability of the CBP to meet future challenges.