Welcome to the Maryland Department of Agriculture
The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Watershed Implementation Program dashboard is an interactive tool designed to showcase best management practices (BMPs) that Maryland farmers have installed to help keep the Chesapeake Bay healthy. The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program (MACS) provides farmers with grants that help cover the cost to install BMPs on their farms to control soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality. Approximately 30 BMPs are currently eligible for funding. The Cover Crop Program provides farmers with grants to plant small grains on their fields in the fall to recycle nutrients, control soil erosion and protect water quality.
In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under authority of the Clean Water Act established pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay, called Total Maximum Daily Load. These limits represent the maximum amount of nutrients and sediment that the Bay can receive and still meet water quality standards. The six Bay states and the District of Columbia are required to follow Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) outlining specific actions and strategies that they will take to achieve these pollution limits by 2025.
To ensure that the Bay Cleanup stays on track, a series of 2-year commitments called milestones have been established. The department has developed a list of agricultural BMPs to help Maryland meet its milestone commitments.