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Bay Bank Fact Sheet

Bay Bank: The Chesapeake's Conservation Marketplace

Urban sprawl along the Chesapeake
All residents of the watershed live within minutes of a
stream or river that flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
The future health of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed significantly depends on the actions of private landowners, as collectively they own the majority of the land in the watershed. New and innovative market-based approaches have emerged to offer realistic financial incentives to landowners within the watershed.

Market-based conservation harnesses economic markets to efficiently deliver environmental objectives. For many market-based projects, property owners who implement conservation practices that enhance ecosystem services generate credit supply in an environmental marketplace. Buyers provide the established need and money that drives markets. Although these markets are becoming available nationwide, there is no efficient way to link landowners with this capital.

Bay Bank fills this need by serving as the Chesapeake's conservation marketplace. Bay Bank helps private landowners and operators of farm and forest land in the Chesapeake region access multiple ecosystem service markets, as well as traditional conservation programs. The additional stewardship activities generated through Bay Bank’s market mechanisms benefits local communities by increasing the economic stability of farm and forest lands and providing cleaner air and water and healthier ecosystems. Bay Bank is piloting its tools with landowners in Maryland and Delaware throughout 2010. Bay Bank will be available to residents in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia in late 2010. All Bay Bank tools have also been developed for easy adoption in other regions of the country.

Implementing market-based conservation can be complex. From landowner outreach to payment for credits, a number of dedicated agencies, organizations, and volunteers are needed to complete the entire process. Bay Bank is developing the partnerships and infrastructure needed to make existing markets and programs more cost-effective and transparent, speed the development of emerging ecosystem markets, and encourage the creation of new ecosystem markets.

For more information on Bay Bank and the services it provides:
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