Chesapeake Watershed Forum


14th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum

November 15 – 17, 2019 // National Conservation Training Center // Shepherdstown, WV


Register for the Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Registration for the 2019 Chesapeake Watershed Forum will open in late August.

2018 Agenda

Sessions focused on five different categories:

1. Environmental Education
2. Innovative Partnerships
3. Organizational Development
4. Science & Restoration
5. Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

We had six field experience opportunities:

1. Beginning and Advance Tree ID by Earl ‘Bud’ Reaves (Anne Arundel Forestry Board)
2. Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Through Chesapeake Collective by Erin O’Grady (Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)
3. Farm Tour by Ron Ohrel (American Dairy Association North East)
4. Making Pictures that Make People Care by Will Parson (Chesapeake Bay Program/Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)
5. One-on-one Mentoring by Caroline Bott (River Network)
6. Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring 101 by Julie Vastine (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring)

We also had two post-Forum opportunities on Sunday:

1. Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners by Eric Eckl (Water Words that Work)
2. Buffer Planting in Greencastle, PA by Ryan Davis (Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)

view the final agenda
view the workshop session descriptions

About the Chesapeake Watershed Forum

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s 14th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum (held November 15 – 17, 2019 in Shepherdstown, WV) is a watershed-wide event reaching over 400 restoration and protection practitioners annually to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. We do this by sharing successful tools and techniques, building the capacity of local organizations and governments, building partnerships, educating on new initiatives, networking amongst each other, and celebrating our successes.

Forest Champions

We announced our 2018 Chesapeake Forest Champions at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum!

2018 Chesapeake Forest Champions

Sally Claggett, USFS (far left) and Jenny McGarvey, Alliance (far right) pose with the 2018 Chesapeake Forest Champions (from left to right: Kathy Abend, Rick Abend, and Matt Keefer). Photo Credit: Will Parson, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay/Chesapeake Bay Program.

The purpose of this contest is to recognize the outstanding efforts of groups and individuals from around the bay watershed to conserve, restore, and celebrate Chesapeake forests. The contest is open to all including landowners, community groups, nonprofits, forestry and natural resource professionals, schools, youth organizations, businesses, public agencies and others working in rural, suburban and urban areas.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the US Forest Service presented the 2018 Chesapeake Forest Champion Awards at the 13th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum in Shepherdstown, WV, attended by over 425 restoration and protection practitioners annually to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. This year’s honorees included Matt Keefer of Pennsylvania’s DCNR Bureau of Forestry who received “Greatest on the Ground Impact”; Jennifer Gagnon of Virginia Tech and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program for “Most Effective at Engaging the Public”; and Rick and Kathy Abend as “Exemplary Forest Stewards.”

Chesapeake Collective

Chesapeake Collective continues to develop with an increasing presence at this year’s Forum. The Chesapeake Collective is an intentional effort to create a space for a range of diverse voices and narratives to be expressed, shared, and incorporated into the broader conversation about our common vision for a healthy, flourishing, and resilient watershed.  While it certainly does not include all of the multiple voices and stories that make our watershed whole, it does provide a platform and an open invitation to those voices and stories that are often overpowered by the dominant narrative or left out of the conversation around holistic, interdependent watersheds and communities.  Chesapeake Collective recognizes and celebrates our watershed-wide diversity as a source of strength and the foundation for the type of social movement it will take to meet our collective restoration goals.

2018 Demographic Survey Results (pdf)


The Forum is a highly social event where peers can network with other groups facing similar challenges, and be inspired to continue the work of preserving and restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. To help facilitate this offsite, we’re expanding our efforts to promote the Forum on social media websites. Make sure to follow along with our Forum developments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #ChesForum.

2018 Sponsors

Oak Sponsors:



Redbud Sponsors:




Paw-Paw Sponsors:


If you have any questions regarding the Chesapeake Watershed Forum please contact Jenny McGarvey.