In 2019, The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay alongside the Local Leadership Workgroup, Local Government Advisory Committee and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, hosted a bus tour entitled  “Wandering Virginia’s Waterways.” This two-day peer to peer learning exchange was geared towards elected officials from the Shenandoah area to the coastlines of Virginia, and focused on a hands-on exploration of the economic impacts of clean water.

The Alliance and its collaborators are implementing a 2020 pilot, virtual peer to peer learning exchange for local governments, focused in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Our partners on this effort include the University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center, the Municipal Online Stormwater Training Center (MOST), the Virginia Environmental Endowment, and several state associations such as Maryland Municipal League, Maryland Association of Counties, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Virginia Municipal League, among others.

The goal of this project is to increase the knowledge and capacity of local elected officials in regards to water-related issues, by identifying the challenges around water quality, offering opportunities for them to learn from related courses and one other, and in response, begin implementing local conservation actions.

This innovative plan includes 10- 14 weeks of virtual involvement including a kick-off workshop introducing stormwater management, online programming, peer to peer live discussion forums, the creation of stormwater action plans and a technical assistance roundtable. 

The Virtual Peer to Peer Learning Exchange is set to begin in Fall 2020.