Downtown Annapolis, Md., is seen beyond Spa Creek at Truxtun Park on Jan. 3, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

The Chesapeake Bay Program covered a lot of ground in the past 12 months, publishing stories from every jurisdiction in the 64,000-square-mile region. They included a variety of people, places and wildlife. We also saw our fair share of restoration efforts, from planting new trees where Harriet Tubman once traveled to recycling Christmas trees on an uninhabited island for waterfowl habitat.

The third year of the coronavirus pandemic felt like a return to some level of normalcy for many people across the Chesapeake region, with watershed organizations holding more and more in-person events and the benefits of environmental restoration expanding into more communities that have long been underserved.

In 2022, we saw new public green spaces with amenities that not only encourage people to get outdoors, but also tell the story of communities that have been marginalized in the past. Those types of efforts, coupled with a historic level of new restoration projects on the horizon, are reasons to look toward 2023 with a sense of renewed optimism.

We hope you enjoy our look at the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the seasons of 2022!

Also be sure to check out a round-up of our top stories of the year.

Poplar Island in Talbot County, Md., on Feb. 9, 2022. Over 125 Christmas trees were brought to Poplar Island by staff from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to provide nesting habitat for the American black duck and other bird species. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Scott Smith of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources holds a four-toed salamander found near a vernal pool in Kent County, Md., on Feb. 28, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
The Chesapeake Bay Program's Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) visits the Virginia Tech Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Accomack County, Va., on April 1, 2022. LGAC Chair Jasmine Gore, second from right, and other Virginia elected officials learned about mulch management from graduate students at the center during LGAC's Wandering Virginia's Waterways Bus Tour for local governments. (Photo by Ola-Imani Davis/Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)
Chief G. Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe sits next to U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during an event to commemorate the transfer of ownership to the tribe of 465 acres along the Rappahannock River near Fones Cliffs in Essex County, Va., on April 1, 2022. Working in partnership with the Rappahannock Tribe and the Wilderness Society, the Chesapeake Conservancy purchased the land from a private lumber company with fiscal support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Angle Family, through Walmart's Acres for America program. The land includes the site of Pissacoak, one of three Rappahannock towns that historically occupied the land along Fones Cliffs, and has been placed into a conservation easement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
An eastern carpenter bee visits eastern redbud blooms at the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay offices in Annapolis, Md., on April 13, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Mallard ducks visit Baltimore's Inner Harbor near the National Aquarium on April 14, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Wendy Crowe holds an injured swamp sparrow found lying on the ground during a sunrise patrol of downtown Baltimore on April 14, 2022. “It looks like a bird that’s hit a window,” Crowe said. Crowe and Megan Johnson, left, are volunteers with Lights Out Baltimore, a nonprofit project of the Baltimore Bird Club that rescues birds that have struck windows or become disoriented by the built environment of the city. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Crew members from Baltimore Tree Trust plant Tilia trees along the edge of Patterson Park in Baltimore on April 21, 2022. The nonprofit put 71 trees in the park during a four-day stretch. In 2018, they received funding from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants to plant 275 street trees and the removal of 8,800 square feet of impervious surface. Funded by the EPA and administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, the grant is awarded to local governments and non-governmental organizations working to protect and improve local waters and habitats across the Bay watershed. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
A yellow-crowned night heron hunts along the shoreline of the 47th Street Wetland Restoration and Rain Garden in Norfolk, Va., on April 22, 2022. The Lafayette Wetlands Partnership, an unincorporated organization of community volunteers, restored the "pocket wetland" along Knitting Mill Creek between 2011 and 2016, removing invasive reeds, adding sand, planting high marsh grasses and shrubs and installing a “rain garden” in the upland area. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Students including Montaja McMullen, left, join Torilus Ward, right, Assistant Director of Grounds/Landscaping at Norfolk State University for an Earth Day native garden planting in Norfolk, Va., on April 22, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
James Kaufman of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay examines a large tulip poplar tree at Belt Woods Natural Environment Area in Prince George's County, Md., on May 17, 2022. The 625-acre area contains a mix of young woods, invasive species and one of the last stands of old-growth hardwoods on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Staff from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay surveyed Belt Woods to collect data that will inform a management plan to improve the health of the forest. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Solar panels under construction are seen at Clear View Farm in West Friendship, Md., on May 18, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
A zebra swallowtail butterfly pauses to lay a single egg on the upper side of a pawpaw leaf along the Appalachian Trail in Washington County, Md., on May 22, 2022. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the pawpaw tree is the only host plant of the zebra swallowtail, meaning it is the only edible food source for its caterpillars. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Chris Shifflett fishes on the Appomattox River with his fiancee Chelsea Kaleita at City Park in Hopewell, Va., on May 27, 2022. "He's actually this is his, like, therapy," said Kaleita, who visits the river to fish just about every day with Shifflett and their two children. "It's a natural meditation for us; especially for him." (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Kaliah, 2, uses the slide while visiting Woodlawn Park with her twin sister Kali and mother Tia Curry and brother Nas, 3, in Hopewell, Va., on June 9, 2022. The family visits "just about every day" and getting the kids to leave is the hard part, Curry said. The playground was built to evoke the city's connection to the Appomattox and James rivers. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Lifelong Hopewell resident Homer Eliades, 23, paints the storefront of Artisan Alley, owned his father and sister, in downtown Hopewell, Va., on June 10, 2022. Across the street, the Hopewell Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit that has collaborated with the One Hopewell Initiative, commissioned a mural through a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Two local residents modeled for the mural, which depicts the James River and local wildlife. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Greg Hulver stands next to his favorite fishing spot for catching brook trout on a restored section of Reed Creek on his property in Baker, W.Va., on June 28, 2022. “As a kid I could catch brook trout in 30 minutes and then as I grew older I could go half a day without catching anything and it just kept getting worse,” said Hulver, who worked with Trout Unlimited (TU) on the restoration project, which was part of TU's Potomac Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative and also included planting trees and excluding cattle livestock along a 21.9-acre stretch. The restoration was funded in part by a Chesapeake Bay Program Small Watershed Grant awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Joe Toolan of the Chesapeake Bay Trust stands for a portrait along Spa Creek in Annapolis, Md., on June 30, 2022. Toolan works to protect the nearby Severn River and the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed while also working with Annapolis Pride and the Maryland Commission on LGBTQ+ Affairs. “There is space for us in this movement and we bring a lot of value in having our voices heard. It’s been a kind of crazy combination of events that led me here, but I’m really glad I’m here and I’m glad I get to claim my seat now,” Toolan said. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Oyster reef construction involves the placement of crushed stone by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on the lower York River near Gloucester, Va., on July 8, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Brian Hite, top right, helps as crewmembers load recycled oysters onto the deck of the Poppa Francis for the nonprofit Oyster Recovery Partnership at Horn Point Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge, Md., on July 18, 2022. The oyster shells were laden with baby oysters, known as spat, in order to seed a reef constructed in the Tred Avon River Sanctuary, one of ten Chesapeake Bay tributaries targeted for oyster restoration under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The seeding is contracted by the Oyster Recovery Partnership. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Anna He, a NOAA intern in the Chesapeake Research Consortium’s C-StREAM program, adjusts GoPro cameras during a survey of oyster reef sites in Harris Creek Sanctuary in Talbot County, Md., on Aug. 1, 2022. He's internship focused on pioneering the use of a relatively new, video-based rapid assessment protocol that complements sonar surveys by NOAA. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Roughly 50 swimmers attend a Wave One Swimming "Sunday Sunrise" practice swim along a 500-yard course on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md., on Aug. 6, 2022. Every Thursday evening and Sunday morning in the spring and summer, between 40 and 80 swimmers from the group plunge into the Potomac River to practice open water swimming. But just a few miles away, in Washington, D.C., swimming in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers has been banned for the last 50 years. (Photo by Caroline Grass/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Monarch caterpillars feed on common milkweed leaves at the photographer's home in Anne Arundel County, Md., on Aug. 10, 2022. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Elinor Thompson, left, commissioner of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, and H. Beverly Larkins visit Elktonia-Carr's Beach, a new public heritage park, after a signing ceremony in Annapolis, Md., on Aug. 12, 2022. The 5.17-acre shoreline property was once owned and operated by Frederick Carr and his family as a popular destination and venue for Black visitors and entertainers from 1926 to the late 1960s. Larkins is a relative of Little Willie Adams, who in the 1940s purchased portions of the Carr's family properties and built a pavilion and stage to host musical acts. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Caroline Dowd, center, delivers a lesson in how to plant a tree to Tatyana Favors, left, and her mother Gail Favors, from Bear, Del., during a planting at Blackbird State Forest in New Castle County, Del., on Sept. 17, 2022. The Favors attended in part because they want to host their own planting for a foundation set up to support Tatyana’s fight with brain cancer. (Photos by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Volunteers and staff narrowly miss a monarch butterfly flying overhead while attempting to capture individual insects to tag and release at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton, Md., on Sept. 27, 2022. The center holds similar events every fall. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
A male white-tailed deer visits forested land at Truxtun Park in Annapolis, Md., on Nov. 2, 2022. November encompasses rutting season for deer, when bucks actively search for mates. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Open Book Farm in Middletown, Md., on Nov. 5, 2022. The farm uses regenerative agricultural practices while producing pasture-raised pork, chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef and organic vegetables near Cone Branch, a tributary of Catoctin Creek in the Potomac River watershed. (Photo by Jake Solyst/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Conodoguinet Creek empties into the Susquehanna River upstream of Harrisburg, Pa., on Dec. 13, 2022. The creek is a 104-mile-long tributary of the Susquehanna. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program with aerial support by Southwings)



Diane Johnson

Will and the CBP team take thoughtful and important photos. They describe a rich and diverse environment that is worth valuing.

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