Since its very inception, restoring the Chesapeake has been a bipartisan effort, starting in 1973 with Sen. Charles “Mac” Mathias. A Republican from Maryland, Mathias heard various complaints and reports of an ailing Chesapeake and took it upon himself to travel its waters to see the damage firsthand. The result of that trip was a congressionally funded five-year study, to be led by a relatively new federal agency — the EPA. While that study took place, state and federal leaders worked to create a body that would manage and oversee this massive restoration effort. In 1983, representatives from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, the EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Commission convened to sign the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement and established what is known as the Chesapeake Bay Program.