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© Chesapeake Bay Program (Chesapeake)

Conservation Priority: Human Health

Our Goal:

Provide people access to parks and trail networks within walking and biking distance of their homes and communities. Provide sufficient opportunities along waterways to ensure nearly all residents are within 30 minutes of reaching a public access site at water’s edge.

We need the outdoors. Research findings on the benefits of being outside in nature continues to accumulate. We need places in our cities and communities to walk, run, sit, play, read, and reconnect. We need trails, pocket parks, big parks, and natural areas. We need access to the water, to put in a boat or a canoe, to swim, to fish, to camp nearby. We need these places close to us, so they are a daily part of our lives -- so they can keep us active and healthy. Some people have less access to parks and the water than they deserve and need. We must change that.

This goal differs substantially from the other four. Rather than concentrating on acres to conserve, this goal drives us to identify gaps in access and fill them. These fall into two general categories based on the goal:

Areas with and without a park within walking distance: We are still in the process of mapping these values. This page will be updated as soon as this mapping is available.

Areas with and without water access within a 30 minute drive (excluding traffic considerations): Similarly, we are also still in the process of mapping these values. This page will be updated as soon as this mapping is available.

However, see below for a range of related maps including existing public water access sites.

We will post an assessment of where we stand relative to our goal as soon as the mapping above is complete.

However, we also track progress toward a goal of adding 300 new public access sites to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries by 2025.

Health Priorities in the Chesapeake

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