by Stephanie Smith
November 03, 2015
Written by Jonathan Doherty, Assistant Superintendent, National Park Service Chesapeake Bay, and Kate Baker, Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Coordinator.
For the last five years, non-profits, American Indian tribes, land trusts and federal and state agencies engaged in land conservation throughout the Chesapeake watershed have come together at the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership’s annual meeting. In the largest gathering to date, nearly 120 people convened at the National Conservation Training Center on October 5-6, 2015, for the sixth annual meeting. The spirit of the event—Growing the Partnership, Growing Our Impact—was reflected both in the increased attendance and the conversations around increasing diversity and inclusion.
New and returning attendees were invited to an overview of the history of the Conservation Partnership and information on the broader large landscape conservation movement. The Conservation Partnership’s co-conveners are Joel Dunn, President and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy, and Chuck Hunt, Superintendent of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay. They addressed the growth of the Conservation Partnership over the previous year and recent progress of conservation in the Chesapeake region. Speakers were invited to share their successes and new projects in fast-paced presentations, highlighting the tremendous collective impact of the group over the previous year.
- The recent submission of the Rivers of the Chesapeake Land and Water Conservation Fund proposal for the 2017 fiscal year, which requests funding for over 25,000 acres in conservation opportunities;
- Preservation efforts on Tangier Island, Va., including the nomination of the site for designation as a historic district;
- The successful acquisition of the historic Campbell Tract in the George Washington National Forest, led by the U.S. Forest Service; and
- Improved safety and public access at Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake, the source of the Susquehanna River.
Other features included a session on impacts from linear infrastructure projects like roads and power lines, a discussion on strategies to engage with diverse audiences and breakout sessions on key conservation focus areas. The meeting set the stage for action in the coming year, including continuing progress toward achieving the protected lands outcome of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
The Chesapeake Conservation Partnership was formed in 2009 and is jointly convened by the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office. Its mission is to foster collaborative action to conserve culturally and ecologically important landscapes to benefit people, economies and nature throughout the six-state watershed.
Learn more about the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership.