Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool

CAST Newsletter: December 2022

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

Did You Know?

Did you know the Second Edition of the BMP Reference Guide has now been published? A quick reference guide for BMPs provides general information about BMPs and how they function within the Chesapeake Bay Program reporting and modeling structure. This Guide provides a single place to learn key information about BMPs. You can find a link to the BMP Reference Guide in the Reports section of the BMPs page on CAST.

CAST Webinars and Training

Upcoming Webinars

We are taking a winter break and will resume CAST webinars in January. We will start the new year with a presentation from guest speaker, Tim Rosen, from ShoreRivers. Tim will share with us about ShoreRivers' projects and efforts to restore the Bay.

Available Training Videos

In last month's webinar, we heard from guest speaker, Amber Ellis, Restoration Director with the James River Association, to learn about their innovative collaborative approach to getting more riparian forest buffers on the ground in the James River Watershed in Virginia. She provided an overview of the James River Buffer Program, how it got started, funding sources, prioritization, outreach strategies, and the 5 elements that make it a success: having a full team, being all inclusive, keeping it simple, being flexible, and staying systems focused. Since the program's launch in 2019, over 660 acres have been installed in the Middle and Upper James Watershed! We wrapped up the webinar by walking through how CAST can be used to quantify the benefits of those efforts in a scenario.

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

Multiple Green Infrastructure and Riparian Buffer Projects in Richmond, VA: Nonprofit organization restores riparian areas and incorporates green infrastructure such as rain gardens within the city of Richmond, Virginia. Read more about this success story on the Capital Trees 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.

The Phase 6 NEIEN Appendix has been approved and is available for download under CAST Progress Reporting.

  • December 2022: Progress reports and resubmission reminders are available each Friday. Calls with state technical leads are scheduled to resolve issues.
  • January 2023: Progress reports and resubmission reminders continue. Calls with state technical leads continue.
  • February 7, 2023: Final opportunity for states to update BMP data.
  • February 8, 2023: Final progress run information for progress available to jurisdictions - needed for outside reporting of progress on commitments and to keep results relevant.
  • March 8, 2023: 2022 Progress finalized and released on CAST. Progress may be delayed due to unresolved issues surrounding the verification assessments. We intend to make the progress scenearios available on CAST even if the reporting progress indicators has not been released.

Updates to CAST

New features: New application on Trends Over Time page to show manure transport trends. Drop down list added to select Load Source, Agency, and Animal aggregations when creating BMP Submitted vs. Credited reports. Updated NEIEN and CAST databases. This is updated software and does not affect data.

A full list of changes is available on CAST's Upgrade History. The new CAST version is Phase 6 - 7.5.0.

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