Thank you to everyone who attended the Alliance’s 18th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum, both in person and virtually! Held at the National Conservation Training Center, the watershed-wide event reached 495 restoration and protection practitioners to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. We shared successful tools and techniques, offered lessons and learnings from on-the-ground work, built capacities of local organizations, fostered partnerships, educated on new initiatives and emerging practices, networked with others, and celebrated our successes!

See photos from this year’s Forum below.

Views from the NCTC

A person speaking behind a podium in an auditorium

Alliance CEO, Kate Fritz, gives opening remarks as the 2023 Chesapeake Watershed Forum kicked off.

A group of people in a circle throwing a beach ball to eachother

Our “forum buddies” activity kicking off with an energetic icebreaker!

A person speaking while giving a PowerPoint presentation.

Joe Toolan, Manager of Chesapeake Bay Programs at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, presents on Diverse and Equitable Community Engagement at one of Friday’s sessions.

People sitting at tables and taking notes

Forum attendee and Alliance staff member Carly Starobin takes notes during a Watershed Forum session.

A group of people sitting around a patio table, smiling and talking

After a day of learning, attendees decompress with dinner and libations.

People gathered around a fire pit, looking up at the night sky

Forum isn’t just about classroom-style learning. One of the greatest aspects of the event is the opportunity to engage with other attendees through a range of fun activities. Here, attendees enjoy some stargazing around the fire.

Two people preparing oysters with head lamps at night

If stargazing isn’t your thing, maybe some Rappahannock oysters shucked by Bryan Hoffman, Deputy Director of Friends of the Rappahannock, will hit the spot!

A walking trail with the sun shining through the trees in the background

One of the many serene trails connecting the NCTC campus.

A sign reading "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." Suzy Kassem

As part of the Chesapeake Collective, various inspirational signs were placed throughout campus, reminding us why we were all there. Chesapeake Collective is an intention, a space, and a creative platform for diverse voices to express their vision for a healthy Bay watershed.

Two people smiling and holding their hands up in an excited fashion

Forum is all about energy and collaboration!

A person looking up at a tree to identify the species

A Forum attendee looks up to determine tree species during a tree identification workshop with the Alliance’s Ryan Davis, Senior Forests Projects Manager.

A large dining hall full of people talking and eating

A well-deserved lunch in the dining hall after a morning of learning.

A person placing a boot-shaped paper cut out onto a bulletin board

One of the Forum’s many interactive displays. This activity, called Leave Only Footprints, allowed attendees to share their favorite places in the watershed with other Forum participants. This display was also part of the Chesapeake Collective.

An overhead view of a room full of people looking at multiple poster displays

A bird’s eye view of the Watershed Forum poster session which provides an opportunity for individuals to share their work and research findings in a visual form with conference attendees.

A large group of people posing for a group photo on a set of stairs

The Alliance says thank you for joining us for the 18th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum. We hope to see you next year!

View the full gallery of Forum pictures here!


Thank you to our 2023 Forum Sponsors!


Catch up on This Year’s Virtual Sessions

Every year, the Alliance live streams Watershed Forum sessions for those attending virtually. If you missed your chance to join us, catch up on our recorded sessions now!