Upcoming Meetings

No upcoming meetings.

Scope and Purpose

Our Goals

The Diversity Workgroup was formed following the signing of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and is tasked with meeting the Diversity Outcome: to identify stakeholder groups that are not currently represented in the leadership, decision-making, and implementation of conservation and restoration activities and create meaningful opportunities and programs to recruit and engage them in the Bay Program's efforts. This goal encompasses all dimensions of diversity, including race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, physical abilities, gender, sexual identity, and other factors. However, we are primarily focused on increasing the representation of those who have been traditionally excluded from the Chesapeake Bay environmental field. Our workgroup also leads efforts to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility (DEIJA) into the implementation of other goals and outcomes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

Who We Are

We are employees of government agencies, non-profit, grassroots, and for-profit organizations, as well as community and environmental justice leaders who reside and work in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We are a mixture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice experts, hiring managers, program leads, and professionals who are passionate about advancing DEIJA in the work to conserve and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways.

Our Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee includes individuals from non-profit organizations as well as state and federal government agencies. The Steering Committee meets once a month to provide guidance and direction on workgroup meeting agendas and ongoing projects.

Our Management Approaches

Our strategies and actions fall under three approaches:

  1. Help the CBP be better able to implement Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility (DEIJA) in their work toward the Outcomes & provide resources to help advance DEIJA efforts across all aspects of organizational culture and work of the CBP and its partners.
  2. Restructure and rethink the Diversity Outcome and metric.
  3. Enhance equitable access to funding resources.

More information on each of these approaches can be found in our Management Strategy and 2021-2023 Work Plan. For information on progress towards this outcome please visit Chesapeake Progress

Our Meetings

We meet approximately 4 times a year to discuss progress towards meeting our goals and allow for mutual learning and sharing of best practices that support DEIJA in the Chesapeake Bay region. Our meetings are open to the public. If you'd like to join our workgroup or be added to our email distribution list, please email the workgroup's staffer and/or coordinator.

Projects and Resources

DEIJ for Beginners

Are you new to the Chesapeake Bay Program? Are you new to work involving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Environmental Justice? Check out these resources

DEIJ in Our Culture & Work

Cultivating and Strengthening Partnerships with Underrepresented Stakeholders (Scope 11)

The "Cultivating and Strengthening Partnerships with Underrepresented Stakeholders" project was funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) Goal Implementation Team (GIT) Funding Program. The project, proposed by the Chesapeake Bay Program Stewardship Goal Implementation Team (GIT 5) and their Diversity Workgroup, aimed to understand the needs, barriers, and priorities of organizations serving historically underrepresented and underserved communities. Chesapeake Conservancy was contracted to complete the project, which began in spring 2021 and ended in summer 2022. The project involved conversations with community leaders and Chesapeake Bay Program staff to identify barriers and opportunities for engagement. A Leadership Workshop was conducted to define meaningful community engagement, and a Community Forum in July 2022 brought together community members and Bay Program leadership to build trust and develop engagement strategies. Recommendations for next steps were compiled based on input from participants, and a community engagement guide was developed. The project's outcomes will help the Chesapeake Bay Program develop long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with organizations serving communities of color and other underrepresented communities.

Allyship Training Series

The DEIJ Implementation Plan calls to provide CBP staff and partnership bodies training on diversity, equity, inclusion and environmental justice issues to build a common understanding of DEIJ and connect these topics to CBP’s mission and operations. Allyship is a practice focused on building lifelong relationships of trust, respect and accountability. In these trainings, participants learned how to navigate unconscious bias, power and privilege as well as important skills such as active listening.

Cultural Humility Training

The Diversity Workgroup identified increasing cultural competence within the CBP as a key step to meeting the diversity outcome in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Thanks to available funding from the Goal Implementation Team (GIT) Funding process, the workgroup offered three Cultural Humility: Tools for Success in Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) trainings in the fall of 2019. Approximately 70 members of the partnership attended one of the trainings, which were led by the consultant Skeo Solutions. Participants learned how a cultural humility framework can help build a sense of equity and respect in relationships between individuals and relationships between institutions and individuals. More resources from this training are available upon request.

Environmental Justice

Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Resources

According to EPA, Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Everyone has the right to protection from environmental and health hazards, as well as, equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment. The resources in the PowerPoint below are funding programs and opportunities to receive technical assistance from CBP to achieve environmental justice.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Justice and Equity Dashboard

The Environmental Justice and Equity Dashboard provides access to a variety of spatial data layers pertinent to addressing environmental issues in areas with underrepresented populations. Refer to the story map for possible uses and instructions


Community Level Partnerships within the Bay Program

This ArcGIS story map was created by one of the diversity workgroup's 2021 C-StREAM interns. It highlights the work of community organizations and provides insight on how CBP can engage new partners


Employment, Hiring, and Recruitment

These documents include a list of programs and positions that can provide pathways for currently underrepresented individuals to enter the environmental workforce in the Chesapeake Bay region and beyond. In addition, the excel document includes a list of recruitment websites, affinity groups, and educational institutions that can be targeted to recruit and hire individuals from underrepresented groups. It also includes a tab with hiring resources, toolkits, and tips to promote inclusiveness and mitigate bias in the hiring process. It is a draft document that will continue to be updated over time.

Communication and Outreach

Most of these documents were not created by the Diversity Workgroup. However, they are really excellent resources for any person who is doing community engagement.


2024-2025 Diversity Work Plan

The Diversity Work Plan builds on lessons learned in the Outcome Review Summary where we identify actions that the workgroup will take to manage/respond to factors and gaps as well as the anticipated impact of completing those actions. In addition to describing the actions that will be taken during 2024-2025 to make progress toward achieving our outcome, this document establishes an expected timeline, responsible parties, performance targets, plans for data collection and plans for the communication of results.

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CBP DEIJ Strategy Implementation Plan

This Chesapeake Bay Program Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Strategy Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan) presents a roadmap for advancing the recommendations found in Restoration from the Inside Out: A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Strategy for the Chesapeake Bay Program (DEIJ Strategy). The Implementation Plan was developed by the CBP DEIJ Action Team with input from partnership entities and the public following the release of the Principals' Staff Committee Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Action Statement.

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DEIJ Guidance for CBP Logic and Action Plans

Restoration from the Inside Out recommends that CPB work plans include considerations to distribute benefits equitably and reduce disproportionate adverse environmental impacts in communities of color, low income communities and other underrepresented groups (Action 3.3.b). In addition, work plans should include both process and outcome measures to track progress over time. This document provides guidance on how to incorportate DEIJ in CBP logic and action plans.

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Related Links

Green 2.0 Research

Green 2.0 is a 501(c)3 independent advocacy campaign to increase racial diversity among environmental organizations. The Diversity Workgroup references their research often including: State of Diversity, Beyond Diversity and Leaking Talent

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DEIJ in Action Guide

A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Guide for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

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Maryland DNR Conservation Careers Guide

This guide is a publication of Project Green Classrooms, an environmental education initiative that began in 2017 by bringing together partners from agencies and organizations across Maryland.

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A Call for Inclusive Conservation

Heather Tallis, Jane Lubchenco and 238 co-signatories petition for an end to the infighting that is stalling progress in protecting the planet.

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18 F Content Guide Inclusive Language

This page is not exhaustive, but aims to provide principles, resources, and specific suggestions for writing and talking about diverse groups of people.

Visit link

Equity & Justice: Aspirations for the Environmental Movement

People of color have been separated from leading this movement for too long. I am calling on the Bay community and challenging you to ask, “What are the aspirations of communities of color?” To breathe? To have a voice? To have hope? by Gabrielle Roffe

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Watershed Agreement

Stewardship Goal


Brittany Omoleye-Hall (Chair), National Park Service (NPS)
National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay
410 Severn Avenue, Suite 314
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  brittany_omoleye-hall@nps.gov
Britt Slattery (Coordinator), Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team Coordinator, National Park Service (NPS)
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Britt_Slattery@nps.gov
Meredith Lemke (Staffer), Chesapeake Research Consortium
1750 Forest Drive Suite 140
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  lemkem@chesapeake.org
Jessica Blackburn, Stakeholders' Advisory Committee Coordinator, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
612 Hull St Suite 101C
Richmond, Virginia 23224

Email:  jblackburn@allianceforthebay.org
Phone:  (804) 775-0951
Michelle Ramirez, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Dr
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Email:  Michelle.Ramirez@maryland.gov
Phone:  (410) 260-8085
Greg Barranco, Government Affairs, Partnerships Team Lead, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  barranco.greg@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5778
Vanessa Van Note, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  vannote.vanessa@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5756
Cirse Gonzalez, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
7581 Spencer Rd
Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062

Email:  cagonzalez@vims.edu
Julie Lawson, Stakeholders' Advisory Committee
6548 Eastern Avenue NE
District of Columbia, District of Columbia 20012

Email:  lawson.julie@gmail.com
Phone:  (202) 347-0412
Kristin Saunders, Cross Program Coordinator, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  ksaunders@umces.edu
Phone:  (410) 267-5711
Mariah Davis, Choose Clean Water Coalition
20 Ridgely Ave
Suite 203
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  DavisM@nwf.org
Phone:  (443) 842-7535
Melissa Fagan, Career Development Program Coordinator, Chesapeake Research Consortium
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  faganm@chesapeake.org
Phone:  (410) 267-9842
Pamela Bingham, Virginia State University
1 Hayden St
Petersburg, Virginia 23806

Email:  Pamelabingham@gmail.com
Rev Rev Jacqueline Norris, Prince George's Environmental Justice/ Equity Marginalized & Low Icome Collaborative
1801 McCormick Drive Potomac Conference Room - Suite 500
Largo, Maryland 20774

Email:  keanjagreen@gmail.com
Rico Newman, Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
100 Community Place
Crownsville, Maryland 21032

Email:  rico.newman@gmail.com
Shannon Sprague, Education Workgroup Coordinator, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  shannon.sprague@NOAA.GOV
Phone:  (410) 267-5664
Alan Anderson, Bowie State University
14000 Jericho Park Rd
Bowie, Maryland 20715

Email:  ajanderson@bowiestate.edu
Renee Hoyos, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
1111 E Main St Suite 1400
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Email:  renee.hoyos@deq.virginia.gov
Amber Doherty, National Aquarium
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Email:  adoherty@aqua.org
Hana Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Email:  jones.hana@epa.gov
Allison Ng, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Email:  ng.allison@epa.gov
Bo Williams, Implementation and Evaluation Team Lead, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 3
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  williams.james@epa.gov
Lora Harris, UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL)
146 Williams St
Solomons, Maryland 20688

Email:  harris@cbl.umces.edu
Wendy O'Sullivan, National Park Service (NPS)
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  wendy_o'sullivan@nps.gov
Phone:  (202) 374-9051
BeKura Shabazz, First Alliance Consulting LLC
13708 Cedar Cliff Ter.
Chester, Virginia 23831

Email:  firstallianceconsutling@gmail.com
Phone:  (804) 602-9166
Kesha Braunskill, U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Email:  kesha.braunskill@usda.gov
Ola-Imani Davis, Staffer, Local Government Advisory Committee, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
501 Sixth St
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  odavis@allianceforthebay.org
Phone:  (443) 949-0575
Ruby Stemmle, EcoLatinos Consulting, LLC
Hyasttville, Maryland 20781

Email:  ruby.stemmle@gmail.com
Phone:  (240) 832-6090
Trena Ferrell, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Goddard Space Flight Center
8800 Greenbelt Rd.
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771

Email:  trena.m.ferrell@nasa.gov
Trystan Sill, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  trystan.sill@maryland.gov
Phone:  (410) 260-8827
Susan Casey, Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Email:  susan.casey1@maryland.gov
Frank Rodgers, Cacapon Institute
Cacapon Institute
10 Rock Ford Rd
Great Cacapon, West Virginia 25422

Email:  frodgers@cacaponinstitute.org
Carmera Thomas-Wilhite, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
6 Herndon Ave
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  cthomas@conservationfund.org
Alexandra Cenatus, Maryland Humanities
108 W Centre St
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Email:  acenatus@mdhumanities.org
Kevin Newman, District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE)
1200 First St NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Email:  kevin.newman@dc.gov
Joseph Schell, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Hwy SW
Richardson & Robbins Building
Dover, Delaware 19901

Email:  joseph.schell@delaware.gov
Amanda Knobloch, Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL)
10545 Mackall Road
St. Leonard, Maryland 20685

Email:  amanda.knobloch@morgan.edu
Noelle Chao, Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy
975 Indian Landing Rd
Millersville, Maryland 21108

Email:  nchao@AACPS.org
Julia Wakeling, District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE)
1200 First St NE
Washington D.C., District of Columbia 20002

Email:  julia.wakeling@dc.gov