Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool

CAST Newsletter: April 2024

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

Did You Know?

Did you know about the Local Government Guides to the Chesapeake Bay? The Local Leadership Workgroup developed a Local Government Guide to the Chesapeake Bay, a seven module series created to support decision-making by local officials. Use the Learning Library to acheive beneficial outcomes for your community; review case studies; download presentations, fact sheets and infographics; and find solutions.

CAST Webinars and Training

Upcoming Webinars

This month's CAST webinar will cover climate-smart agricultural practices. Guest speaker, James Martin from the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation, will share the information available on the USDA's Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Project Dashboard. The Dashboard includes background information about climate-smart projects, details about finalized projects, and eligible practices. Then, we will walk through how to create a scenario in CAST using climate-smart eligible practices to estimate their nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reductions. Finally, we will set up a discussion about how carbon reduction estimations may be built into CAST, and how to best approach this effort moving forward.

  • Topic: Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices
  • Time: April 18, 2024 at noon EDT
  • Join Zoom Meeting
  • Meeting ID: 843 4972 5553
  • One tap mobile +19292056099,,84349725553#

Available Training Videos

In our last webinar, we provided an overview of the plethora of tools and information available on CAST. This was an excellent webinar to attend if you are new to CAST, or if you are interested in learning more about what CAST has to offer. We started by going through CAST's resources, including new tools that can be used for targeting practice types and locations for BMP planning. Then, we walked through how to create your own scenarios using CAST, and run reports to track the effects of those plans.

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

Maryland Sets New Standard for Watershed Health with Latest Act: In a landmark decision, Maryland legislators have unanimously passed the Whole Watershed Act (SB 969/HB 1165), marking a significant step forward in the state's environmental conservation efforts. Read more about this success story on The Southern Maryland Chronicle'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

2023 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.

  • Late April/Early May, 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: Correction to the duplicate rows error in the Wastewater report. Any Wastewater reports run before 3/12/2024 should be re-run.

Page added for the interactive version of the BMP Targeting Maps.

Updates to the technical infrastructure.

A full list of changes is available on CAST's Upgrade History. The new CAST version is Phase 6 - 7.11.0.

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