In October 1994, the Chesapeake Executive Council adopted Directive 94-1 which called upon the Chesapeake Bay Program to develop a set of goals and actions to increase the focus on riparian stewardship and enhance efforts to conserve and restore riparian forest buffers. The Council recognized that forests along waterways are an important resource that protects water quality and provides habitat and food necessary to support fish and wildlife survival and reproduction. The Council appointed a panel to recommend a set of policies, recommend an accepted definition of forest buffers, and suggest quantifiable goals. The Panel was a diverse group of thirty-one members, comprised of federal, state, and local government representatives, scientists, land managers, citizens, and farming, development, forest industry, and environmental interests. This report contains our principal findings and recommendations. Background material which describes in more detail the technical basis for the recommendations and elaborates on the implementation options is available as a Technical Support document.