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Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Program

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is a federal and state funded program to provide cost sharing and technical assistance to landowners and farmers with critical nutrient management and water quality problems. The program is administered by the County Conservation District at the local level. Planning and technical advice is provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Conservation District technicians.



The purpose of the Chesapeake Bay Program is to:

  • Decrease pollutants in the Bay
  • Develop nutrient management and erosion control plans using Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Test soil and manure to prevent nutrient pollution
  • Install cropland terraces, diversions, and waterways to control runoff
  • Apply contour strip cropping and proper crop rotation to increase soil productivity


Nutrient Management Plan: 

  • The program requires the land owner to implement a nutrient management plan and maintain installed Best Management Practices. 
  • The nutrient management plan is a written, site-specific plan indicating how the major plant nutrients are to be managed annually for crop production and water quality protection. 

Best Management Practices (BMPs):

  • The BMPs are designed to aid the management of nutrients from animal manures, sludge, seepage, chemical fertilizers, and others. 


Who is eligible for assistance?

  • All farmers and landowners located in Adams County 
  • Any farm operation with critical nutrient management concerns 
    • Nutrient management problems include: manure runoff, soil erosion, improper management of manure and fertilizer nutrients, stream bank erosion, and surface water runoff.   


Follow this flow chart to see what type of plan is needed. 
A written Ag E&S Plan is required for agricultural plowing and tilling activities(including no-till practices) and Animal Heavy Use Areas (AHUA-areas that do not maintain vegetation due to animal use/traffic) that each disturb land totaling 5,000 square feet or more. 

The plan documents the Best Management Practices (BMPs) used to address current and potential cropland soil loss due to erosion i.e. tillage used; crop rotation; grassed waterways; diversions; terraces, etc.   

Every farm in Pennsylvania that land applies manure or agricultural process wastewater (generated on the farm or received from an importer), regardless of size, is required to have and implement a written MMP.

This includes manure or agricultural process wastewater application by various types of equipment and/or direct application of manure by animals on pastures and in Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs-areas that do not maintain vegetation due to heavy animal use/traffic).  This regulation and requirements includes “backyard operations” with a small amount of land and animals, i.e. a few chickens in a residential yard.  



Implementation Plan

How is the District addressing these problems?