Chesapeake Bay Act

Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act

The Virginia General Assembly enacted the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act in 1988. The Act is a critical element of Virginia's multifaceted response to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. The Bay Act established a cooperative relationship between the Commonwealth and local governments and is aimed at reducing and preventing nonpoint source pollution. The Bay Act, like many other environmental protection programs, is an extension of the public trust doctrine. The beds of Virginia's streams, rivers and estuaries and the waters above them are held and managed by the Commonwealth for the benefit of all Virginians.

Northampton County has adopted zoning overlay district known as the Chesapeake/Atlantic Preservation District (CAP) to incorporate into county zoning water quality protection measures consistent with the state's Bay Act Regulations. Because of Northampton's proximity to the fragile Atlantic Ocean marine marshlands, Bay Act protection regulations have been extended to the County's seaside area as well. The Regulations address non-point source pollution by identifying and protecting certain lands called Chesapeake/Atlantic Preservation Areas.

The lands that make up Chesapeake/Atlantic Preservation Areas are those that have the potential to impact water quality most directly. Generally, there are two types of land features: those that protect and benefit water quality directly (Resource Protection Areas, or RPAs) and those that, without proper management, have the potential to damage water quality (Resource Management Areas, or RMAs). By carefully managing land uses within these areas, Northampton County can help reduce the water quality impacts of nonpoint source pollution and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Seaside marshes.


Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Code of Virginia

Link to Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission


Wetlands Board

The Northampton County Wetlands Board meets on the third Wednesday of each month to administer the Northampton County Wetlands and Coastal Primary Sand Dune Ordinances adopted to preserve and prevent the despoilation and destruction of wetlands and coastal primary sand dunes and beaches within the County. These meetings are opened to the public during which the Board conducts public hearings in accordance with Virginia Code requirements. The Board also conducts site evaluations for all applications prior to the public meetings. Board members are appointed by the Northampton County Board of Supervisors

For a schedule of meetings, please visit the Public Meetings Calendar

The Wetlands Board is now utilizing BoardDocs software for distribution of its meeting agenda packages. Please click on the link below to access the system.


Go to Meetings tab and use the drop down menu next to "Active Meetings" to access Wetlands Meetings.

Meetings prior to May 18, 2016 are available at Northampton County Administration office.

Board Members

Marshall Cox, Sr.
2716 Seaside Rd
Cape Charles, VA 23310

William A. Prosise
25425 Lankford Highway
Cape Charles, VA 23310

Bowdoin Lusk
P.O. Box 8
Cheriton, VA 23316

David Boyd
22146 Verlinda Landing
Cape Charles, VA 23310

James Crunk
P.O. Box 12
Jamesville, VA 23398

Thomas A. Fox
P. O. Box 877
Eastville, VA 23347

Renee Hunt
6320 Wilsonia Neck Drive
Machipongo, VA 23405


Beach Bluffs at Kiptopeke State Park
Photo Credit: William Dyas

A heron in marsh grass.
Photo Credit: Richard Wiseman

Photo Credit: Richard Wiseman