[photo, Crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland] Originally founded on a bi-state agreement between Maryland and Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission was created in 1980 (Chapters 576 & 674, Acts of 1980; Chapter 393, Acts of 1982). Its formation stemmed from recommendations of the Chesapeake Bay Legislative Advisory Commission on the need for improved interstate coordination of Bay-wide management. In 1985, Pennsylvania joined the Commission (Chapter 300, Acts of 1985).

The Commission helps the legislatures of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia evaluate and respond to problems relating to the Chesapeake Bay. The Commission also encourages coordinated resource planning and action among the executive agencies of the three member states and serves as liaison to the U.S. Congress.

Each member state contributes $275,000 to the annual budget, $825,000 for Fiscal Year 2018 (Chapter 468, Acts of 1994; Chapter 488, Acts of 1995; Code Natural Resources Article, sec. 8-301).

Crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, June 2010. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Twenty-one members (seven from each signatory state) serve on the Commission. Five from each state are state legislators whose terms coincide with those of their office. Of the Maryland legislative members, two are senators named by the Senate President and three are delegates chosen by the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The Governor or designee serves as a member. Another member, who is neither a legislator nor a member of the Executive Branch, is selected jointly by the Senate President and the House Speaker. Nonlegislative members serve no longer than four years unless reappointed. Selected by the members, the chair and vice-chair alternate annually among the delegations from the three states.

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