Monday, February 24, 2014

Penn State Extension: Agricultural Costs Of Saving The Chesapeake Bay Webinar

Penn State Professor Jim Shortle provided a one hour webinar on January 29 discussing a recent study on the agricultural costs of cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.
Dr. Shortle is a Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics and Director of the College of Agriculture’s Environment and Natural Resources Institute at Penn State University.
Shortle and the project collaborators conducted the study in light of the need to meet clean up goals for the Chesapeake Bay as stipulated by the 2011 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulation by the federal government.
Agriculture is estimated to contribute nearly half of the nitrogen and phosphorus loads and two-thirds of the sediment loads to the Bay. The TMDL requires pollution control measures to be in place by 2025, with at least 60 percent of the actions completed by 2017.
Dr. Shortle’s presentation focused on determining whether the TMDL agricultural load allocations can be achieved at lower costs through targeted selection of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMP’s) and by spatially targeting where BMP’s are implemented in the Bay watershed.
The study found that Delaware, Maryland, New York and West Virginia could all meet the necessary load reduction targets for the TMDL without retiring agricultural land by utilizing targeted BMP’s in geographically important parts of the watershed. Pennsylvania and Virginia still required some land retirement to meet the load reduction goals.
The results of the study found that attention to BMP selection and spatial targeting can produce large cost savings. They also found that there are significant potential cost-savings from water quality trading programs.
A video copy of the 54 minute webinar along with copies of the slides and other links can be found on the Penn State Water Resources Extension website.
(Written By: Bryan Swistock, Water Resources Specialist, Renewable Natural Resources, Penn State Extension, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, reprinted from Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletter.)

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner