Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

2021 Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Join us for our virtual watershed forum!
November 1-5, 2021

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s 16th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum (to be held online November 3 – 5 with in-person networking November 1-3) is a watershed-wide event reaching over 400 restoration and protection practitioners to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. We share successful tools and techniques, offer lessons and learnings from on-the-ground work, build capacities of local organizations, foster partnerships, educate on new initiatives and emerging practices, network among each other, and celebrate our successes.

Access to the Virtual Conference Platform (Whova)

The Future is Now: Getting to (and Moving Beyond) 2025

The year 2025 marks a historic milestone for the Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration movement. The 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) set forth necessary nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reduction targets in a pollution diet that will achieve a level of bay health meeting the survival, growth, and reproduction needs of its living resources. The TMDL aims to have the seven jurisdictions put in place by 2025 all the best management practices necessary to provide, over time, the reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that will improve bay water quality so that it meets all its applicable dissolved oxygen, water clarity and chlorophyll related water quality standards. We have made notable progress in implementing the necessary actions that will result in pollution reductions leading to a healthy bay – however, there is still much work to be done in the next four years.

Through our theme, we consider the dualistic priorities of our time. Many of the best practices and approaches in agriculture, stormwater, and forestry that will get us to our 2025 goals are already out there. The challenge is how do we disseminate and implement these practices and approaches efficiently, rapidly, and at scale by 2025, and how do we sustain the effectiveness of those efforts beyond 2025.


The 2021 Forum Schedule

This year’s Forum features a fantastic line up of speakers, field trips, and networking opportunities. We are still finalizing this year’s schedule, so please check back frequently for the latest additions.

View Schedule for 2021 Watershed Forum

Sponsor the Forum

Drawing in over 400 professionals, a Forum sponsorship places your brand or organization front and center as an action-oriented advocate for clean water and resilient lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Your sponsorship directly supports the convening of this important watershed-wide event.

 More Information

Important dates

  • September 1: Virtual Poster Session Request for Proposals Opens
  • September 8: Registration and Scholarship Application Opens
  • October 1: Virtual Poster Session Request for Proposals Closes
  • October 8: Scholarship Applications Due
  • October 15: Scholarship Recipients Announced
  • November 1: Registration Closes
  • November 1 – 5: 2021 Chesapeake Watershed Forum. See you online!

Thank you to our 2021 Watershed Forum Sponsors!

Oak Sponsor

River Birch Sponsor

Redbud Sponsor

Redbud Sponsor

Redbud Sponsor

Oak Sponsor

Redbud Sponsor

Redbud Sponsor

Redbud Sponsor

Pawpaw Sponsor


Submit Your Watershed Forum Memories

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Watershed Forum Memories

As the Forum Registrar for many years my memories of the Forum are mainly behind the scenes with all the various parts that make up the production of this event. As the event dates grew closer I would work with the Training Center personnel to ensure the setup of the registration area in front of Entry Auditorium and the all important making sure the registrants who were lodging on-site had a room. The excitement for me was as each registrant entered through the large doors of NCTC and approached the registration table I was able to finally put a name with a face. The energy was palpable as nearly 400 of us gathered together each year for the annual watershed forum at NCTC – I really miss that and hope we can gather again in the near future. For now we will enjoy seeing each other virtually.

Rebecca Wertime

Watershed Forum Memories

The Forum has always been a place to gather with friends, both new and familiar, where our only focus is togetherness. Whether it’s networking at the bar, group work in the classroom, or impromptu conversations around the fire, the Forum has always brought incredible value to my work. I look forward to gathering with our Forum attendees all over the Chesapeake region as we kick off our 16th year!

Kate Fritz
Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Forum Memories

My memories are both spatial and taste-oriented. In which case, like many attendees, brings me back to the food and fall. Waking up with a warm cup of coffee in my hands as I make my way across the pedestrian bridge, crunching newly fallen leaves under foot and feeling the crisp air on my face. Fueling up with ice cream as a post-lunch sugar boost and energy source while winding through paths or sitting in afternoon sessions. Roasting smores by the fire as we hear historic tales from the Shepherdstown region. And finally getting a drink and bowl of popcorn while I sit with the wonderful feeling of having filled my mental cup with creativity, knowledge, and friendship, yet yearning to have experienced more.

Erin OGrady

Watershed Forum Memories

I participated in the first Forum, being a board member and working with Lou Etgen. One job that I recalled and loved was, at Lou’s direction, getting the booze and bard for Saturday night live. All went well!! The band, “Late for Supper” we had at two of our Gunpowder Valley Conservancy’s annual events. Special!!! What I likes most about the Forum was the wonderful people you connected with – fun, educational and productive. Miss that today.

I am sure that I could write a book about the memories, one of my high points of the year. Can’t wait until it becomes in-person again!!

Charlie Conklin

Watershed Forum Memories

I love everything about the forum, but my favorite memories are sharing a beer and popcorn with friends in bar! Whether you’re meeting people for the first time, or catching up with old friends it’s always filled with laughter and joy!

Liz Chudoba
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Forum Memories

My favorite memory/memories come from the high-energy and comradery of the small pre-Forum team who arrive early to NCTC to prep for the weekend. I’ve spent many Thursday nights in September/November helping with the last minute details: sitting on the floor of the main auditorium entryway, creating signs and activities for the Chesapeake Collective; rushing around to classrooms double-checking that schedules, evaluations, and raffle tickets are in place; and setting up stacks of honey sticks, markers, and blank sheets of paper in the auditorium (2018 plenary – my first time on the big stage!). There’s nothing that gets me as excited as the shared commitment and enthusiasm of our Alliance team and partners to ensuring each year we host the best Forum that we can offer.

Jenny McGarvey
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Forum Memories

My favorite memories include meeting new people as well as spending time with coworkers outside of the office!

Lucy Heller
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Forum Memories

Sitting by the dorm fireplace with friendly faces, grabbing a boot beer stein at the end of a day of engaging and thoughtful sessions, quietly watching deer graze along the riverside, making art in the forest, morning meditative walks, the list goes on and on. I can’t wait to get back to the Chesapeake Watershed Forum at NCTC!

Laura Todd
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Forum Memories

The delicious cafeteria meals! And of course, the fact that our boss brings the jello shots. Sitting in the large gathering room together to listen to the Forest Champions and evening presentation. Activities in the woods, like the 2019 interfaith walk.

Rachel Felver

Watershed Forum Memories

I love the Forest Bath. It was magical and made me feel so rooted and connected back to myself and to the Earth. I cannot wait to go back and walk the trails again, especially with the leaves crunching under my feet.

meredeth dash
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Want to get involved?

Contact Jenny McGarvey to find out more about the Chesapeake Watershed Forum.

Email Jenny