Chesapeake Assessment and Scenario Tool (CAST)
Today, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) publicly unveiled a new web-based tool designed to help states, municipalities, federal agencies and others quickly and easily assess the most effective ways to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Chesapeake Assessment and Scenario Tool (CAST) allows users across the watershed to develop and quickly receive feedback on various pollution reduction scenarios. Using CAST, jurisdictions are able to see the implications of their specific actions and management decisions and gain an understanding of which Best Management Practices (BMPs) are most effective at reducing the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads reaching their local streams and entering the Bay. This valuable information can then help jurisdictions refine their management decisions and adapt their actions prior to submitting their information into the full Chesapeake Bay Program model for analysis.
First developed by the State of Maryland under a grant from EPA, CAST complements other Bay modeling tools by offering summarized results that can be fed directly into the suite of Chesapeake Bay Program models for full analysis. In this way, it supports Bay jurisdictions in the development of their Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) and in the 2-year milestones process required under the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), the new Bay “pollution diet” established in December 2010. CAST will also help partners better understand the suite of computer models that the CBP uses to help guide decisions for reducing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership that has coordinated and conducted the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. Partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; and advisory groups of citizens, scientists and local government officials.