SUMMARY OF BENEFIT VALUE FOR CHESAPEAKE BAY JURISDICTIONS. BY SCENARIO
$41.195 $49.540 20% $38.066 -8%
32.637 38.828 19% 30.810 -6%
15.892 20.449 29% 15.209 -4%
New York 10.361 12.276 18% 10.363 0%
6.330 7.668 21% 6.458 2%
Delaware .735 .941 28% .659 10%
.025 .029 15% .027 5%
Total $107.176 $129.732 21% $101.531 -5%
but there is much more to do. The choice
of whether or not to finish the job is ours.
The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—
the mandatory federal-state plan established
in 2010 to reduce pollution and restore our
waterways to good health—is just the tool
we need. It is in place, and it is working.
We all want cleaner water. Our report confirms what we have long said: A healthy
environment is better for our pocketbooks
too. If fully implemented, the Chesapeake
Clean Water Blueprint will significantly
increase the value of nature’s benefits we
Our report shows that the natural benefits
of the Bay will increase by more than $22
billion (a 20 percent increase) to nearly
$130 billion annually when the Blueprint
is fully implemented. And we will reap
those added benefits every year.
Conversely, the Bay system’s natural value
will decrease by almost $6 billion annually
if the Blueprint is abandoned as the Bay
becomes more polluted, it and its lands less
productive and, as a result, less able to protect us from flooding and hurricanes.
The economic benefit of restoration will be
felt throughout the region. Each of the
states and the people living in them will
experience quantifiable gains.
The costs have been estimated at roughly $5
billion annually through 2025. Thus, the
return on the investment will be at least four
to one. And, the costs have a sunset while
the benefits will continue for generations.
This is a good news story. We all know that
reducing pollution makes great sense for
our health and our environment. It also
makes terrific economic sense. From filtering our drinking waters to producing our
food and protecting us from expensive
flooding and hurricanes, many of the economic benefits nature provides to us have
now been quantified.
Our report’s finding makes our choice
clear. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, work
together, and finish the job of restoring
water quality to this part of the country.
We will be better off when we do, our children will be better off, and we will serve as
a model for the rest of the nation.
Our report is available at cbf.org/economicbenefits. Please share it freely and let your
elected officials know that cleaning up our
waterways is an investment we should make.
CBF acknowledges the generosity of Albert
H. Williams for underwriting our report.
Defending the Chesapeake Clean
As has been reported in previous issues of
Save the Bay, in early 2011, the American
Farm Bureau Federation and other federal
agricultural and homebuilder lobbyists
sued in federal court to derail the Blueprint
just days after it was inked. Judge Sylvia
Rambo ruled decisively eleven months
later. She rejected each of the plaintiffs’
complaints and affirmed the firm legal
ground on which the Blueprint stands.
Many of the original plaintiffs appealed the
lower court ruling. And they recruited
attorneys general from 21 states to join
them. Even more cities, states, constitutional attorneys, and environmental
groups filed friends of the court brief for
This a critically important case. As we go to
press, we are awaiting oral arguments,
which are scheduled for November 18.
Once again, Jon Mueller, our Vice President
for Litigation, will represent CBF.
u To follow our progress as we argue our case,
u To read the full version of CBF’s new peer-reviewed report, The Economic Benefits of
Cleaning Up the Chesapeake, online, visit