The Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team works to increase citizen action, support environmental education for all ages and assist citizens, communities and local governments in conserving treasured landscapes.
Scope and Purpose
With 17 million people living in the Chesapeake watershed, public participation is a vital piece of the restoration effort. The Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team’s charge is to increase citizen action, support environmental education for all ages, and assist citizens, communities and local governments in undertaking initiatives to conserve treasured landscapes. The team hopes to reconnect the public with nature and foster a shared ownership of the Chesapeake’s diverse resources. This approach will build public support of restoration and conservation efforts and increase citizen engagement and active stewardship.
The Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team (GIT 5) is pursuing the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Agreement goals and objectives to:
Stewardship Goal: Increase the number and diversity of local citizen stewards and local governments that actively support and carry out the conservation and restoration activities that achieve healthy local streams, rivers and a vibrant Chesapeake Bay.
- Citizen Stewardship Outcome: Increase the number and diversity of trained and mobilized citizen volunteers with the knowledge and skills needed to enhance the health of their local watersheds.
Public Access Goal: Expand public access to the Bay and its tributaries through existing and new local, state and federal parks, refuges, reserves, trails and partner sites.
- Public Access Site Development Outcome: By 2025, add 300 new public access sites, with a strong emphasis on providing opportunities for boating, swimming and fishing, where feasible.
Environmental Literacy Goal: Enable students in the region to graduate with the knowledge and skills to act responsibly to protect and restore their local watershed.
- Student Outcome: Continually increase students’ age-appropriate understanding of the watershed through participation in teacher-supported, meaningful watershed educational experiences and rigorous, inquiry-based instruction, with a target of at least one meaningful watershed educational experience in elementary, middle and high school depending on available resources.
- Sustainable Schools Outcome: Continually increase the number of schools in the region that reduce the impact of their buildings and grounds on their local watershed, environment and human health through best practices, including student-led protection and restoration projects.
- Environmental Literacy Planning Outcome: Each participating Bay jurisdiction should develop a comprehensive and systemic approach to environmental literacy for all students in the region that includes policies, practices and voluntary metrics that support the environmental literacy Goals and Outcomes of this Agreement.
Land Conservation Goal: Conserve landscapes treasured by citizens in order to maintain water quality and habitat; sustain working forests, farms and maritime communities; and conserve lands of cultural, indigenous and community value.
- Protected Lands Outcome: By 2025, protect an additional two million acres of lands throughout the watershed—currently identified as high-conservation priorities at the federal, state or local level—including 225,000 acres of wetlands and 695,000 acres of forest land of highest value for maintaining water quality.