2019 Forum

The 2019 Chesapeake Watershed Forum was held on November 15 – 17 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. Our theme was, “Better Together: Diverse and Innovative Collaborations for the Chesapeake Watershed.”

This watershed-wide event reached over 400 restoration and protection practitioners to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. We shared successful tools and techniques, build capacities of local organizations and governments, foster partnerships, educate on new initiatives, network among each other, and celebrate our successes.

Our theme for 2019 intended to highlight collaborative models from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that accelerate the protection and restoration of its lands and waters. We sought to understand what gives these collaborations staying power, to explore new roles for the veterans of the Chesapeake Bay restoration movement, to identify opportunities to engage non-traditional stakeholders and work cross-sectors, and to learn how to strengthen partnerships by following the principles of equity in order to create a diverse and inclusive movement.

2019 Agenda

Keynote speaker: Dr. Mamie Parker, Principal with Ecologix Group and Chair of the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Commission

Presentation title: “Better Together with a Change in Climate”

This year’s sessions focus in eight different categories:

  • Organizational Development
  • Science & Restoration
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
  • Communications and Outreach
  • Innovative Collaborations
  • Environmental Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative

Intensive Seminars

This year we offered nine intensive seminars on Saturday morning. These intensives are an opportunity for Forum participants to delve deep into an area of interest, be it a field trip, training, or networking opportunity.

Forum Program
2019 Forum Presentations
Poster Session Abstracts

Forest Champions

We announced our 2019 Chesapeake Forest Champions at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum!

Sally Claggett, US Forest Service (left) and Craig Highfield, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (second from left), pose with Jan Gardner, County Executive, Frederick County, MD (second from right). Jan was recognized as a Chesapeake Forest Champion for “Most Effective at Engaging the Public.” (Photo by Will Parson/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 2019 Chesapeake Forest Champion Awards at the 14th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum in Shepherdstown, WV, attended by over 400 restoration and protection practitioners annually to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. This year’s honorees included Anne Hairston-Strang of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service who received “Greatest on the Ground Impact”; Jan Gardner, County Executive, Frederick County, MD for “Most Effective at Engaging the Public”; and Roger Rohrer of Pennsylvania as “Exemplary Forest Steward.”

Chesapeake Collective

Chesapeake Collective continued to develop with an increasing presence at the 2019 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.

2019 Sponsors

Oak Sponsors:



Red Maple Sponsors:


River Birch Sponsors:

Redbud Sponsors:


    Logo for the City of Martinsburg  M-NCPPC Logo

Paw-Paw Sponsors:


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

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Jenny McGarvey Senior Program Manager, Virginia Office

Jenny is a senior program manager based in the Alliance’s Virginia office. She serves a dual managerial role over the Chesapeake Watershed Forum, ForumPlus, and Chesapeake Network, and aspects of our Chesapeake Forest program.

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