What is BayStat?
Created by Executive Order in February 2007 by Governor Martin O’Malley, BayStat is a powerful statewide tool designed to access, coordinate and target Maryland’s Bay restoration programs, and inform citizens on our progress.
The BayStat team – consisting of the Secretaries of the Maryland Departments of Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources, Planning and other state agencies, scientists from the University of Maryland, and key staff – meets monthly with Governor O’Malley to review and evaluate progress, discuss new ways to improve Maryland’s bay restoration efforts, and to ensure the State is implementing best management practices that are most cost effective and geographically targeted to generate the greatest benefit. The program, which is modeled after Governor O’Malley’s highly successful CitiStat program in Baltimore, is now being used as a model by the federal government.
Historically albeit with the best of intentions policy makers have set and reset restoration goals far into the future, when true progress relies on holding ourselves accountable for what Maryland can do here and now. The BayStat team was responsible for developing Maryland’s new 2-year milestone goals, announced at May’s Chesapeake Executive Council meeting, to better target, focus and accelerate efforts and measure results. Not only do we now have clear goals based on the best science available, but we also have clearly defined actions and a visible timeframe that, when taken, will have a direct contribution to achieving the goals established.
When it comes to the restoring the Bay, every citizen has a role to play. From recycling to cutting back on fertilizer use, from planting trees to frequenting clean marinas, from properly disposing of pet waste to participating in a Tributary Team wade-in this summer, the Bay starts at the doorstep of every person in the watershed.
Citizens can learn more about this innovative program – and what they can do to help the Bay – at www.baystat.maryland.gov.