In 2003, the Chesapeake Bay Program partners agreed to reduce upland sediment pollution to help achieve the water clarity in tidal shallow water habitats necessary for restoring 185,000 acres of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). These goals, adopted as loading caps allocated by major tributary basins by jurisdiction, were based on sediment load reductions estimated from management actions directed toward reducing phosphorous runoff. Sediment is the third biggest pollutant to the Bay and its tributaries. Excess sediment in the water column is a key contributor to degraded water quality and damages critical habitats (e.g. SAV beds and oysters bars) and living resources (shellfish, finfish and waterfowl). Suspended sediment reduces the amount of light available to support healthy and abundant SAV communities. A primary goal of reducing sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is to improve water clarity to restore SAV. While there is a clear relationship between tidal erosion of fine-grained sediments and water clarity in areas immediately adjacent to eroding shorelines, no relationship has been established between a rapidly eroding shoreline and the survivability of SAV in adjacent waters. The current understanding of sediment loads from these sources and adjacent tidal water quality effects is incomplete. Given the uncertainties surrounding tidal erosion, the partners did not include tidal sediment in the sediment cap load allocations they agreed to in 2003.