Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act

In 1988, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) which required all Tidewater Virginia localities to establish local programs to protect and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and its tributaries. State leaders recognized that a healthy Chesapeake Bay and healthy local economies are integrally related. Each locality was required to define its Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas and establish enforcement procedures to ensure compliance with state regulations.

In response to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, the City of Suffolk adopted regulations into its Zoning Ordinance on September 19, 1990 known as the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District. All land located within the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District is subject to special restrictions to prevent damage to water quality within the rivers and streams draining into the Chesapeake Bay.
The purpose of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act is to protect and improve water quality by reducing stormwater runoff of nonpoint source pollution. When it rains, pollutants from developed and undeveloped land are picked up in stormwater runoff and deposited into rivers and streams. Examples of nonpoint source pollution include sediments generated from construction, agriculture, or other land disturbing activities, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and petroleum products such as oil from automobiles. Areas that have been disturbed by construction activities often transport these pollutants into our waterways. Land in agricultural production can also contribute to water pollution problems. Reducing the pollution that enters the Chesapeake Bay watershed makes recreation on the Bay’s waters safer, strengthens our historic seafood industries, and restores the diverse and beautiful habitats along the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Map