INTERSTATE AGENCIES

CHESAPEAKE BAY COMMISSION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, Crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland] Originally founded on a bi-state agreement between Maryland and Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission was created in 1980 (Chapter 674, Acts of 1980). Its formation stemmed from recommendations of the Chesapeake Bay Legislative Advisory Commission on the need for improved interstate coordination of Bay-wide management. In 1985, Pennsylvania joined the Commission.

The Commission helps the legislatures of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania evaluate and respond to problems relating to the Chesapeake Bay. The Commission also encourages coordinated resource planning and action among the executive agencies of the three member states and serves as liaison to the U.S. Congress.

Crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, June 2010. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Twenty-one members (seven from each signatory state) belong to the Commission. Five from each state are state legislators whose terms coincide with those of their office. Of the Maryland legislative members, two are senators named by the Senate President and three are delegates chosen by the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The Governor or designee serves as a member. Another member, who is neither a legislator nor a member of the Executive branch, is selected jointly by the Senate President and the House Speaker. Nonlegislative members serve no longer than four years unless reappointed. Selected by the members, the chair and vice-chair alternate annually among the delegations from the three states. Each state contributes equally to the annual budget, $225,000 for Fiscal Year 2010 (Code Natural Resources Article, sec. 8-301).

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