Chesapeake Watershed River Access Plan Open for Comment
The public review and comment period for the draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan has been extended until September 14, 2012. The plan is a product of the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, developed in response to President Obamas Executive Order 13508, and which aims to increase public access to the Bay and tributaries by adding 300 new public access sites by 2025.
The draft plan is available now for review and comment, and depicts specific potential access sites ready for development as well as those that require further design and planning, and those in need of further analysis. The planning team recognizes that additional analysis is needed for access in urban areas and for camping associated with access to the rivers. This will be done over the coming year.
With the Public Access Plan as a guide, federal, state, local and non-profit organizations will prioritize and allocate available funding for development of access to the Bay and rivers. The collaboration among citizens to identify local places is important and will continue as we work together to develop needed access to enjoy the Chesapeake.
Review the draft plan here: The NPS welcomes public comments on this draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan through September 14, 2012. Comments can be provided in two ways:
- Via email: Written comments on the draft plan can be submitted to ChesapeakeAccess@nps.gov. This is the best option for overall comments on the plan or suggestions regarding the text.
- Via on-line mapping tool: To suggest existing access sites that may have been missed in this plan or to recommend potential new access sites not included in appendix B of the plan, please use the on-line mapping tool at http://www.baygateways.net/AddPA/. Instructions in the tool will guide you in how to mark and describe a site.
The identification of potential access sites is not a closed or static process. New opportunities for access will continue to be identified over time by citizens, non-governmental organizations, and local, state, and federal government. These will be incorporated in future updates to the data supporting this plan.
Paddlers are encouraged to share the access sites that they use now or propose new/enhanced sites that would help with the enjoyment of whitewater or flatwater rivers. American Whitewater's comments can be downloaded in the Document Box to the right of this article. We would like to thank the Coastal Canoeists for bringing this opportunity to our attention.