Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool

CAST Newsletter: February 2024

Tips and information to facilitate environmental restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Did You Know?

Did you know you can download GIS shapefiles from CAST? Shapefiles are available for download as GIS layers and KMZ files from the Map Tools and Spatial Data page. Find a variety of layers such as the Phase 6 land-river segments, federal lands, and stream layers to use in your GIS projects. These layers can be overlaid with BMP and load-related data from CAST reports, or with your own data to perform many useful spatial analyses!

CAST Webinars and Training

Upcoming Webinars

This month's CAST webinar will highlight Cost Profiles. We will explain where to find cost data in CAST, and how estimates are calculated. Then, we will demonstrate how to use interactive charts to assess cost-effectiveness and where money is being allocated to fulfill the 2025 WIP targets. Finally, we will share step-by-step instructions on how to create your own, unique cost profile in CAST and apply it to your planning scenarios for the most accurate cost calculation.

  • Topic: Cost Profiles
  • Time: February 15, 2024 at noon EST
  • Join Zoom Meeting
  • Meeting ID: 820 5119 3297
  • One tap mobile +13052241968,,82051193297#

Available Training Videos

In our last webinar, we highlighted Federal Agencies. We discussed which federal agencies are included in CAST and what land uses they are associated with. Then, we looked at the Bay jurisdictions' watershed implementation plans to see what the load targets are for each of these agencies. Finally, we used CAST to track the progress being made toward these goals over time.

This and other past training videos, on topics ranging from buffers to targeting nutrient reductions, are available in the Learning section of CAST under 'Free Training Videos'. Amongst the variety of training content available, there are also short videos on topics like 'Where do I start,' under CAST 101 - Getting Started.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Success Story

Delaware Receives $120K Grant for American Kestrel Conservation Project: Delaware has received approximately $120,000 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Wildlife Restoration Program to support the study and preservation of the American kestrel, a species currently listed as endangered in Delaware and the smallest falcon in North America. Read more about this success story on the State of Delaware's website.

Does your organization have a Chesapeake Bay Watershed success story you'd like to share? If you have a story you would like to see in the next CAST Newsletter, submit an article using the 'Contact Us' feature from any page of the CAST website.

Chesapeake Bay Program Deadlines

2022 Progress toward the Bay TMDL

The Chesapeake Bay Deadlines refer to the major jurisdictions' annual reporting of new BMPs implemented, and existing BMPs verified as functioning in the watershed. BMP implementation information is used to create annual progress scenarios using CAST and to make assessments and report out the estimated impacts of restoration efforts.

  • February 8, 2024: Final progress run information available to jurisdictions - needed for outside reporting of progress on commitments to keep results relevant.
  • February 21, 2024: 2023 Progress finalized and released on CAST. Progress may be delayed due to unresolved issues surrounding the verification assessments. We intend to make the progress scenario available on CAST even if the reporting progress indicators has not been released.

Updates to CAST

New features: Animal mortality and ditch BMPs' cost data updated to be consistent with all other BMP cost estimates, which are in 2018 dollar values.

The new coagulant enhanced treatment pond BMPs are in CAST-23 and available for use in planning scenarios.

A full list of changes is available on CAST's Upgrade History. The new CAST version is Phase 6 - 7.10.0.

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