Chesapeake Watershed Forum


13th Chesapeake Watershed Forum: Connecting our Communities: Celebrating Diverse and Innovative Partnerships

November 2 – 4, 2018 // National Conservation Training Center // Shepherdstown, WV

This year’s theme, Connecting Our Communities: Celebrating Diverse and Innovative Partnerships, was chosen so that we may celebrate the many diverse partnerships that have proven successful in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.


Register for the Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Registration for the 2018 Chesapeake Watershed Forum is now CLOSED.

How much does it cost to attend the Forum?

Registration costs:

  • 1 Day (Friday or Saturday lodging and meals) = $125
  • 2 Day Commuter (meals only) = $120
  • 1 Day Commuter (meals only) = $60

*Please note: Meals begin Friday at lunch

Do I need to make a lodging reservation at NCTC?

Your lodging room reservation (if applicable) at NCTC is made automatically when you register thru the Forum on-line registration process. Any reservation made directly with NCTC will be cancelled by the Forum Registrar.

What about Friday night lodging?

On-site Friday night lodging is full. 

Are there scholarships available to help cover the registration fees?

The scholarship deadline is closed. For more information regarding scholarships, contact Adam Bray at

What is the Late Night Lodging option?

Late night lodging is for those who like to stay up late and network in one of the Lodge lounges.

Can I walk-in and register the day of the event?

Sorry, not available. This is a federally secured facility, so everyone must register (guest names are needed for the list as well) in order to gain access through the NCTC security.

When does Registration close?

Registration will close at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. If paying by check, payment should be received by October 12, 2018 (COB).

Contact Lou Etgen, if you have additional questions.


Registration for the 2018 Chesapeake Watershed Forum is CLOSED.


We have five different categories that sessions will focus on:

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

We have 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 have two 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 draft agenda

About the Chesapeake Watershed Forum

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s 13th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum (held November 2 – 4, 2018 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.

This year’s theme, “Connecting Our Communities: Celebrating Diverse and Innovative Partnerships” was chosen so that we may celebrate the many diverse partnerships that have proven successful in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

Forest Champions

We will announce our 2018 Chesapeake Forest Champions at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum!

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.

Winners will be recognized at the annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum on November 2nd, in Shepherdstown, WV. Registration, food and lodging expenses at the Forum will be covered for contest awardees.

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.

2016 Demographic Survey Results


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.


Oak Sponsors:



Redbud Sponsors:




Paw-Paw Sponsors:


If you have any questions regarding the Chesapeake Watershed Forum please contact Lou Etgen.

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Lou Etgen Deputy and Maryland State Director, Maryland & DC Office

Lou is the Alliance's Program Director for Maryland and the District of Columbia. Lou oversees all Maryland and DC program staff, as well as manages a variety of projects around the region, including the Chesapeake Watershed Forum.

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