The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) serves to set standards for land use that are designated within any of the numerous named watersheds that feed into the Bay. Properties in five states are affected if their land is contained within any of these watersheds. The bottom line purpose of the CBPA is to greatly reduce agricultural, mineral, and urban runoff flowing into and adversely affecting the natural health of the Chesapeake Bay and its resources.
The CBPA has set standards for two major various designations of sensitive lands designated as Resource Protection Areas (RPA) and Resource Management Areas (RMA). RPAs are designed for the benefit and protection of water quality, while RMAs concentrate on reducing the potential to damage water quality without proper management.
Enactment in 1988, CBPA legislation has significantly changed the land development process throughout all of the watersheds. Following these regulations has become a pre-development requirement for many localities.