Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Surveys

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.

CBPA Development Must Meet These Key Performance Criteria:


  • Designate Agriculture Conservation Assessments
  • Minimize Disturbance to the Land
  • Preserve Indigenous Vegetation
  • Provide for Long-term BMP Maintenance
  • Require a Plan of Development Review Process
  • Minimize Impervious Cover
  • Control Septic Pump-Out and Reserve Drain Fields
  • Obtain and Enforce Wetlands Permits


A CBPA Plan is essentially a site plan that incorporates physical and topographic surveys to make an improvement to property currently designated within the CPBA. A good example of this is requiring a property within a designated watershed to meet a minimum runoff prevention standard for high phosphorous and nitrogen levels found on the land.  Certain aspects of the CBPA involve assisting a client work out complex survey analysis and provide design solutions for reducing or eliminating these phosphorous and nitrogen loads from leaking off the property and into the watershed.  Our job is to research and implement one of over 600 best management practices (BMP's) developed and approved by the CBPA that will get the client compliant and also be the most cost effective.

Alphatec Surveyors CBPA Plan surveys are designed to be quick, efficient and highly accurate. Alphatec Surveyors has invested heavily in obtaining, learning and utilizing the latest in GPS, laser, aerial surveying and 3D modeling tools to make this possible.  This revolutionary development in surveying allows us to measure thousands of acres of land with fewer people in a day. In the recent past, it would take a team of people all day to survey less than ten acres using traditional surveying methods.