Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker


For over thirty years the health of the Chesapeake Bay has been in a steady decline. After 25 years of voluntary cleanup goals, nitrogen pollution is still 40 percent higher than the Bay can handle. This creates a dead zone each summer in which almost nothing can survive. Up until now the approach to cleaning up the Bay has been all carrots and no sticks, incentives but no penalties. To make real progress in restoring the Chesapeake Bay, Environment Maryland has initiated the Restore the Chesapeake Bay campaign to push for enforceable pollution limits and penalties for polluters who don't comply.

This case study describes the historical, geographic and sociopolitical context which has spawned Environment Maryland’s Restore the Chesapeake Bay campaign. The advocates are described, the targeted policies and politics are identified and strategies and tactics are discussed. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of the campaign in terms of process and outcomes from its inception in April, 2009 through September, 2009. Finally, the paper will examine lessons learned that could be applied in future advocacy work or policy analysis. Information for this case study was gathered through personal observation, informal conversations, formal telephone interviews, primary documents and significant literature, including the Policy Advocacy course texts A New Weave of Power, People and Politics by Lisa VeneKlasen with Valerie Miller, and The Democracy Owner’s Manual by Jim Schultz.


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Natural Resources Management and Policy


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