This Guide to Best Management Practices (BMPs) was developed and designed as a user-friendly centralized summary of BMPs and related technologies – applicable to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed – for minimizing/eliminating pesticide use in the residential, commercial and agricultural sectors. It provides comprehensive, at-a-glance information on Integrated Pest Management, least-toxic alternatives, runoff prevention, organic strategies and health-friendly lawn and land care – for homeowners, renters, gardeners, commercial and government property managers, faith-based institutions and farmers.
The objective of the BMP Guide is to present information about the effectiveness of all current BMP practices by type, without making judgments as to which is better. The intended impact of this tool is to reduce pesticide loadings in the watershed. At this stage, it is designed to be a clearing house of BMP data, with qualitative information about the relevance of each practice.
It is important to note that key portions of the document go beyond BMPs for minimizing/eliminating pesticide use and address issues surrounding fertilizers/nutrients, in order to emphasize the importance of healthy soil, which in turn will allow for a reduction in chemical use and use of control products.
This Guide was Developed by the Working Group on Preventing Pesticides from Entering the Waterways, of the Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project. This group represents a range of opinions on many of the key issues raised in the document. As a result, every effort was made to take into account the varying perspectives of farmers, technical experts and relevant government agencies.
A Living Document. The “Preventing” Working Group intends that the Guide will remain a living document that will reflect new practices and discoveries, over time.
Future initiatives by the Project may include a ranking of these BMPs by efficacy or practicality, which would lead to recommendations and guidelines regarding their use. In all situations the Project strongly encourages use of any practice which reduces the potential for pesticide introduction into the Bay watershed, while not increasing the likelihood of causing other negative environmental impacts.
Feedback is always welcome.
The Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project was established in 2007 by the Maryland Pesticide Network and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The Project is the first working group in Maryland dedicated to reducing the occurrence and risks of pesticides in the Bay watershed, in order to protect water quality, aquatic life, wildlife and public health. Project participants include scientists, public health experts, waterkeepers, watermen, federal, state, and county government agency representatives, representatives of the agricultural and pest management industries and environmental organizations.
Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project
1209 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202