Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chesapeake Bay's Businesses for the Bay Program: A Model for Business Stewardship

The CMRC will be focusing the majority of its efforts in 2006 on the development of a Harbor Estuary Business Stewardship Initiative. In addition to the upcoming Business Stewardship Workshop, the CMRC and our regional partners will be working with representatives from the Chesapeake Bay's Businesses for the Bay Program to learn from their very successful experience and facilitate the creation of a business stewardship model for the Harbor Estuary. Today, we briefly explore the Businesses for the Bay Program as a great example of the progress that can be achieved when businesses and conservation goals come together. JB

The Chesapeake Bay's Businesses for the Bay Program is one of the few "business stewardship" programs in the United States that combines the resources of the private sector with coastal conservation efforts. Over the past ten years, the B4B Program has been able to leverage the assets of local businesses to reduce pollution, increase participation, and improve the amazing natural environment of the Chesapeake Bay. The B4B Program has accomplished these great results by creating a voluntary pollution prevention and awareness campaign that has over time attracted over 700 businesses to the program.

Businesses for the Bay is a voluntary team of forward-looking businesses, industries, government facilities and other organizations within the Chesapeake Bay watershed that is committed to implementing pollution prevention in its daily operations and reducing the releases of chemical contaminants and other wastes to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Businesses for the Bay Mission is to build support for pollution prevention among all businesses throughout the watershed while their goal is to contribute to the long-term improvement of the quality of the Bay and its rivers through widespread, voluntary implementation of pollution prevention practices throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The amazing success of the Businesses for the Bay Program is truly illustrated by the amount of businesses that have joined the program over the past ten years. As of February 2006, 708 local
Chesapeake Businesses have joined the effort. For a full list of participants go to (go to "Awards").

One of the key components of the Businesses for the Bay Program has been its reward and recognition program to award those businesses that have excelled in their conservation efforts. The
Businesses For The Bay Excellence Awards recognize Businesses for the Bay participants for their outstanding work in pollution prevention programs to help protect the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. The positive benefits of this type of recognition program have certainly attracted many additional businesses over time with its awards in categories such as "Outstanding achievement in Pollution Prevention" and "Partner of the Year."

For a full list of 2005 Business Stewardship Awards go to:

The Chesapeake Bay's Businesses for the Bay Program is an excellent model for incorporating businesses into the coastal conservation and management process. As the Harbor estuary develops a similar program, we will be looking forward to working with representatives of the B4B Program to establish a framework based on the Chesapeake's great successes and are excited about integrating the resources of our local private sector entities into the conservation targets and goals of the Harbor estuary community.

For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Program...


CMRC Business Stewardship Initiative

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