The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will honor four top Chesapeake Watershed Environmental Leaders at our 2014 Taste of the Chesapeake on Thursday, September 18 from 5 to 9 pm at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

This year, the Alliance’s top honor, the Environmental Leadership Award, will be presented to Luke Brubaker of Brubaker Farms in Mount Joy, PA. This award honors a person who demonstrates a long-standing commitment to the protection of the Chesapeake Bay’s lands and waters and whose efforts are consistent with the Alliance’s mission of fostering partnerships and building local solutions that advance environmental stewardship in the watershed. With agriculture often under fire for not doing enough, Mr. Brubaker represents what can be achieved through a commitment to conservation and innovation in agriculture.

— Al Todd, Alliance director

The Brubaker farm, a multi-generational dairy operation in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is a showcase of conservation practices including no-till farming, cover crops, buffers and stream protection, nutrient management, and generation of energy with manure. Brubaker Farm demonstrates a stewardship ethic that promotes the economic value of conservation practices and provides a sustainable model for agriculture in the future. Luke Brubaker believes, “It is so important for farmers to realize the value of conservation practices, rather than doing it just because they have to do it.”

At the 2014 Taste, three Watershed Champions will also be honored:

Charlie Conklin, of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy will be recognized for his grass roots environmental leadership for more than twenty years. “Charlie has been a tireless volunteer working on stream and land preservation and tree planting. His integrity, dedication, and enthusiasm are contagious. Charlie has contributed time and talent not only to the Conservancy and the Alliance, but also to the Baltimore County Soil Conservation District, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, and Towson Presbyterian Church,” Todd said about Conklin’s conservation mission.

Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Office of Economic Resilience, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be recognized for her lifelong leadership in urban environmental stewardship. Throughout her career, she has been a steadfast advocate for creating sensible approaches to land use planning, sustainable design, and responsible growth, all essential to the future restoration of the Chesapeake. Todd offered praise, “From pioneering work at EPA, to building the foundation for Maryland’s smart growth policies, to reshaping DC into a more walkable, livable, and environmentally sustainable city, Harriet represents a true urban watershed champion.”

John Tippett, of the Friends of the Rappahannock, has dedicated himself to the River and its watershed. for over two decades. John was instrumental in bringing about the removal of the Embrey Dam to benefit migratory fish, and in the creation of a conservation easement that protects more than 4,200 acres of land along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers. Todd noted, “His collaborative work with local governments and developers helped create low-impact development ordinances that were among the first in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Tickets to the Taste of the Chesapeake are on sale now! Please join us for a lively evening filled with unique local foods, drink and live music, and support the Alliance’s work to restore and protect to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.