Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool

CAST Newsletter: November 2023

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

Did You Know?

Did you know you can create your own, unique Cost Profile? After logging into CAST, you can edit existing or create your own cost profile on the Cost Profiles page. Edit a cost profile from the grid in the tool to update the existing costs. You can then apply your new cost profile to a scenario by selecting it from the Cost Profile drop down list when creating or editing scenarios.

CAST Webinars and Training

Upcoming Webinars

This month's CAST webinar will highlight Delivery Factors. Guest Speaker, Kristin Fisher from The Nature Conservancy, will walk through a case study about how this organization used CAST delivery factors to complete a grant proposal for an agricultural conservation project. We will then use this example to demonstrate how the CAST delivery factors can be used to calculate edge-of-tide load reductions using a known load-per-unit reduction. Finally, we will show how to add BMPs to a scenario to find the total resulting load.

  • Topic: Delivery Factors
  • Time: November 28, 2023 at noon EST
  • Join Zoom Meeting
  • Meeting ID: 856 0631 7822
  • One tap mobile +13017158592,,85606317822#

Available Training Videos

In our last webinar, we learned about free and easy online planning tools to target management practices to the areas where multiple species would benefit from habitat enhancements. We covered the Ecosystem Benefits Browser, including why the Browser was developed and how it can be used for planning toward the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goals and outcomes. Then, we used interactive mapping tools to find the best locations to implement those practices.

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 record for oyster planting: Maryland planted an annual record of almost 1.8 billion juvenile oysters this year in its portion of the Chesapeake Bay, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore announced in October. Read more about this success story at the Bay Journal 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.

  • No later than December 1, 2023: Final BMP submissions for the previous July 1 - June 30 data period due from jurisdictions for the 2023 Progress Phase 6 model assessment - both wastewater data and non-wastewater BMPs. Wastewater data includes the categories CSO, bio-solids, spray irrigation, large onsite septic systems, and rapid infiltration.
  • December 2023: Progress reports and resubmission reminders are available each Friday. Calls with state technical leads are scheduled to resolve issues.
  • January 2024: Progress reports and resubmission reminders continue. Calls with state technical leads continue.
  • February 7, 2024: Final opportunity for states to update BMP data.
  • February 8, 2024: Final progress run information available to jurisdictions - needed for outside reporting of progress on commitments to keep results relevant.
  • March 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: Update to the manure application eligibility and timing files in CAST-23, changing all crop nutrient applications to be both manure and fertilizer eligible if the crop/land use allows it. This will change the results of reports run on the draft version of CAST-23 that was made available to members of the WQGIT, WTWG, and other interested parties for review.

Correction to the unregulated/regulated land use classification in 5 Virginia counties: Fairfax County and all towns and cities contained therein (specifically including Fairfax City and Falls Church City), Loudoun County to specifically include eastern Loudoun County and the Town of Leesburg, and Harrisonburg City, by applying an adjustment factor as a CAST-23 post-processing measure. An adjustment factor is now applied as a ratio of CAST-19 unregulated/regulated lands. The ratio has been determined for each land-river model segment, load source, for each nonfederal and each federal agency type, and for each year after 2012.

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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