PA and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is a large ecosystem that encompasses approximately 64,000 square miles in six states: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and the District of Columbia.
Although Pennsylvania doesn't border the Chesapeake Bay, more than half of the state lies within the watershed. Pennsylvania contains two major rivers that are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: the Susquehanna, with 21,000 square miles, and the Potomac, with 1,600 square miles. Together, they total 40 percent of the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Susquehanna River basin is the largest tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. From its start near Cooperstown, New York, the river flows over 400 miles and empties into the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
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NRCS Chesapeake Bay Efforts
Presidential Executive Order 13508
On May 12, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13508 on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration. In response, federal agencies developed a Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed with focused environmental initiatives to implement the Executive Order.
Executive Order 13508 Strategy Fact Sheet
Conewago Showcase Watershed
In response to Executive Order 13508, NRCS established showcase projects in small watersheds to test and monitor the benefits of a focused, highly partnered, voluntary approach to conservation. In Pennsylvania, the Conewago Creek Watershed, was chosen as the Showcase Watershed. The Conewago Creek Watershed is a small sub-watershed (33,617 acres) that straddles three counties, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lancaster. It is part of the Lower Susquehanna-Swatara sub-basin unit with direct drainage to the Lower Susquehanna River Basin in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay water resource drainage area.
USDA-NRCS Showcase Watershed: Conewago Creek
Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Acreage
NRCS Helps Farmers Help the Bay
NRCS helps Pennsylvania farmers help the Bay by providing financial and technical assistance for conservation practices, such as:
- Stream bank fencing
- Riparian buffers
- Windbreaks/odor control
- Soil erosion control
- Wildlife habitat establishment and improvement
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Nutrient management
- Farm land protection
Explore NRCS's Conservation Programs in Pennsylvania to see how we can help you help the bay.
Other Chesapeake Bay Watershed States
Chesapeake Bay Partners
Chesapeake Bay Program
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that has led and directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983.
Chesapeake Bay Journal
Bay Journal is published by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to inform the public about issues and events that affect the Chesapeake Bay.
Natural Resource Specialist