Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The 1980s witnessed an increased awareness of the problems of estuary and coastal water pollution. The medical waste problems of 1988 heightened public awareness of this problem and showed that coastal pollution is not just isolated but rather is a regional problem which requires regional solutions. During the 1980x the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the States of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia worked together to forge two agreements, one in 1983, and more significantly a broader agreement in 1987, in which they agreed to work together to develop specific goals and objectives to address and solve the problems confronting Chesapeake Bay. These agreements are significant because the signatories recognized that the Chesapeake Bay's importance and problems transcend regional boundaries and they committed to managing the Chesapeake Bay as an integrated ecosystem. The 1987 Agreement established a framework for governance through the Chesapeake Executive Council and outline 29 specific commitment strategies, and deadlines, to work towards the protection and restoration of the Bay's significant living resources. This landmark agreement established new initiatives and specific goals, deadlines and objectives for addressing key issues such as nutrient and toxic pollution, the decline of the bay's aquatic resources, population growth and land use. All objectives which will set the course of efforts over the next several years.