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Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA)

In 1988 the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) was adopted in Virginia. Shortly thereafter, each jurisdiction east of interstate I-95 implemented a CBPA ordinance and programming to support this state code. The Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality oversees this programming through their Office of Watersheds and Local Government Assistance Programs. Even with state oversite, local CBPA ordinances ultimately govern development in environmentally sensitive areas such as land along perennial waterways, highly erodible soils, and even, in some instances, steep slopes. If you are a resident in the Colonial SWCD, reach out to your local planning department for more information on how this local ordinance may affect your property.


The Colonial Soil & Water Conservation District works hand-in-hand with Charles City, James City, and New Kent Counties through the agricultural provisions of their CBPA ordinances. We may serve as technical advisors for agricultural management and best management practices. We provide agricultural land assessment services to our constituents, including site and suitability assessments, buffer encroachment authorization through the District Board, buffer assessments, conservation planning, and compliance reporting; All of these services are offered free of charge to county residents.

The image above depicts the states with lands inside the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the extent of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (blue line), Interstate 95 (yellow and black), The Colonial SWCD (red), and the Bay itself (light blue).

​If you are planning a new agricultural project, let us know! We can provide input on designs, layouts, crops, and your county’s ordinance that will help keep our waterways protected and promote a healthy and happy farm.

The image above depicts the various land uses throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

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