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, and justice (DEIJ) 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 diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice experts, hiring managers, and individuals who are passionate about advancing DEIJ 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 four approaches:

  1. Enhance communication and outreach with underrepresented stakeholders
  2. Create and expand employment opportunities for underrepresented individuals and communities by strengthening connections to existing resources and creating new avenues for career building
  3. Promote environmental justice through the meaningful involvement and fair treatment of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in the implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement
  4. Advance diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in all aspects of organizational culture and work

More information on each of these approaches can be found in our Management Strategy and 2021-2023 Work Plan.

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 DEIJ 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

Start Here

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

Resources from 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.

Community Engagement Resources

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.

GIS Tools

The following tools have been created to help others identify opportunities to implement DEIJ into their work.

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 by Crystal Zhao

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.

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CBP DEIJ Strategy

This strategy was developed by an independent consultant (Skeo Solutions) for the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. It contains recommendations that are grouped into four DEIJ framework focus areas. The consultant developed these recommendations based on interviews with CBP teams and leadership, a DEIJ readiness survey, two focus groups, a review of key partnership policy documents and input from the Diversity Workgroup. The recommendations provide a visionary framework to be used by the partnership as a guide to achieve the following:

  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity among partnership staff and leadership.
  • Help partners develop as DEIJ leaders who understand, respect and embrace cultural diversity.
  • Provide partners with the tools to continually assess progress towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice goals.

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Related Links

Green 2.0 Leaking Talent

This report details how people of color are pushed out of environmental organizations and presents factors that impact the retention and promotion of people of color in the environmental movement.

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DEIJ in Action Guide

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

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The Principles of Environmental Justice (EJ)

Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held on October 24-27, 1991, drafted and adopted these 17 principles of Environmental Justice.

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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.

Visit link

Watershed Agreement

Stewardship Goal


Wendy O'Sullivan (Vice Chair), Superintendent, NPS Chesapeake Bay Office, National Park Service (NPS)
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  wendy_o'sullivan@nps.gov
Phone:  (202) 374-9051
Briana Yancy (Coordinator), Life Scientist & Diversity Workgroup Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Mid-Atlantic Region
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  yancy.briana@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-9827
Jessica Blackburn, Coordinator, Citizens Advisory Committee, 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, Implementation Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  vannote.vanessa@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5756
Amanda Knobloch, Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL)
10545 Mackall Road
St. leonard, Maryland 20685

Email:  amanda.knobloch@morgan.edu
Cirse Gonzalez, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
7581 Spencer Rd
Gloucester point, Virginia 23062

Email:  cagonzalez@vims.edu
Emily Hendrickson, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR)
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105

Email:  emhendrick@pa.gov
Phone:  (717) 787-9293
Hana Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Email:  jones.hana@epa.gov
Julie Lawson, Citizen's Advisory Committee, Citizens' Advisory Committee
6548 Eastern Avenue NE
Washington, Districtofcolumbia 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
Noelle Chao, Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy
975 Indian Landing Rd
Millersville, Maryland 21108

Email:  nchao@AACPS.org
Pamela Bingham, Virginia State University
1 Hayden St
Petersburg, Virginia 23806

Email:  Pamelabingham@gmail.com
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
Kenyatta Rowel, Chesapeake Research Consortium
645 Contees Wharf Rd
Edgewater, Maryland 21037

Email:  rowelr@chesapeake.org
Caitlin Eversmier, Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd,
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Email:  caitlin.eversmier@maryland.gov
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