Chesapeake Bay Preservation Plan

Photo of beach jetty

The Virginia General Assembly enacted the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act in 1988. As a result, each tidewater local government was required to implement an ordinance that establishes criteria to minimize or reduce pollution during development and redevelopment. We adopted a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance in 1992, with updates in 2003, 2011, and in conjunction with adoption of the new Stormwater Management Ordinance in 2014.

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Plan (adopted April 2001):

  • Identifies and characterizes the County’s water resources and examines the extent to which they have been affected by urban land activities.
  • Maps actions that we can take to help preserve and restore local streams, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Meets the Comprehensive Plan requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations.
  • Establishes criteria to minimize or reduce pollution during development and redevelopment, in adherence with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance


Urban development and land use activities in the County have significantly changed the nature of Arlington’s streams and have contributed to the decline of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. Together, the Stormwater Master Plan, the Task Force Report and the analysis conducted in Chapter 5 of this Plan identify and outline key programs and policies to protect local streams as well as the Chesapeake Bay.