Agricultural policy and practice in the Chesapeake and Delaware Watersheds

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Ehrhart, M. and J. Jackson. 2018. Water Resources Impact 20(5):22-23. (Not peer-reviewed)


Policies and programs to reduce water pollution from agriculture play a critical role in the efforts to improve water quality in both the Chesapeake and Delaware watersheds. Since the Federal Clean Water Act was amended in 1972, many of both watersheds’ worst point-source discharges were addressed, leaving nonpoint-source pollutants associated with agricultural runoff and urban stormwater as leading concerns. These diffuse pollution sources are a challenge to address because responsibility for action generally falls to individuals, businesses and local governments. Efforts to control the agricultural component of our nonpoint-source problem differ across the Delaware and Chesapeake, reflecting major differences in spatial scale, agricultural intensity and policy priorities that direct pollution-reduction planning and implementation.