Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society (1976) 23: 1- 7

Chesapeake Bay and its management.

Research Article
V. J. Chapman  
  1. Department of Botany, University of Auckland.

Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest estuaries in the world with its shores partly in Virginia and partly in Maryland, and an expected population of 30 million by 2020AD. There is a wide range of shorelines with wetlands used by wildfowl and also with valuable fisheries. It is heavily used for recreation but also for shipping, industry, sewage dispersal, dredge spoil disposal and power generating stations. Pressures for alterations to the Bay are very great and in 1973 over 2000 applications were made to the US Army Corps of Engineers for changes. A study to draw up management guidelines was made by the Chesapeake Research Consortium and they recommended a moratorium on heavily pressurised coastlines. Examples are given of shoreline classification and of pressures resulting from increased sewage effluent disposal and bulkheading applications. Two proposals were considered in detail and management problems arising from them discussed and specific proposals made. Arising from this study a number of lessons were listed from which New Zealand could benefit. In particular it is suggested that groups of estuaries should be under the control of a local estuary commission that should examine all proposals for the group once a year and that an environmental impact report should be produced