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Public Access Planning Team

Scope and Purpose

The sense of place that evolves from outdoor experiences along the waters of the Bay region often leads to a feeling of shared responsibility for the resources.  People who enjoy the outdoors are more likely to become active citizen stewards, engaged in the many conservation and stewardship efforts taking place throughout the region.  Despite this, physical access to the Bay and its tributaries—the very resources that form the basis for the Chesapeake’s unique identity—is limited. This has real consequences for quality of life, for the economy, and for long-term conservation.

The Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed , issued in response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13508, calls for “expanding public access to the Bay and its tributaries through existing and new local, state and federal parks, refuges, reserves, trails and partner sites.” It includes a key goal to increase public access to the Bay and its tributaries by adding 300 new public access sites by 2025.   To support this goal the Public Access Planning Action Team was developed.  This team, coordinated by the National Park Service, includes representation from federal, state, local, and non-profit partners responsible for and committed to public access development.

As called for in the Executive Order, the National Park Service,  with the guidance and support of the Action Team, has completed and released the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan; a strategy that guides expansion, assesses demand, determines gaps, and identifies opportunities for public access sites in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  This plan will also be used to help focus and support collaborative investment for public access development and improvement. The Action Team will continue to meet on an as-needed basis to review and update the Public Access Plan, to implement actions items in the plan, and to track the development of new public access sites in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


  • John Davy (Chair), National Park Service (NPS)
  • Julie Walker (Staff), Chesapeake Research Consortium

  • Suzanne Baird, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Scott Bollinger, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • Don Cosden, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Diane Davis, District of Columbia Department of the Environment (DDOE)
  • Andy Fitch, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Lisa Gutierrez, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Larry Hart, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  • Mark Hohengasser, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Terry Hough, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR)
  • Jackie Kramer, National Park Service (NPS)
  • Michael Krumrine , Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation
  • Tom McCarthy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Susan Moerschel, Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation
  • Mike Piaskowski, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR)
  • Danette Poole, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Bret Preston, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
  • Tammy Stidham, National Park Service (NPS)
  • Ed Woltmann, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


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