• New Announcement
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    Elk Creek Restoration Project Highlights Future of Chesapeake Conservation

    (Annapolis, Md.) – Chesapeake Conservancy recently joined partners to install vegetation and structures to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff and improve water quality on a property on Elk Creek, a tributary of Penns Creek, in Centre County, PA. On-the-ground partners for the project included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Habitat Forever, the Foundation for California University of Pennsylvania, Penns Valley Conservation Association, Seven Willows LLC, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Funding for the project was provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pennsylvania DEP Growing Greener and Glen’s Garden Market, and Winghaven Nursery donated nursery stock.

    The partners planted a 35-foot wide riparian buffer along a 1000-foot agriculturally impaired stretch of the stream. This is one of six sites that are part of a new mapping validation project to identify where restoration can have the greatest benefits to water quality and wildlife habitat.

    “Through this project, Chesapeake Conservancy and our partners are using precision conservation—projects at the right place, the right scale, the right size, the right time, and making sure they are working—to pilot a new approach to conservation. Instead of sweeping acquisitions or all-encompassing legislation, we can use the latest high-resolution datasets to conduct advanced geospatial analysis to better target and implement best management practices,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said.

    An analysis done by the Chesapeake Conservancy determined that this one acre riparian restoration area has the potential to intercept and mitigate runoff from nearly 14 acres of upstream farmland, lawns, impervious surfaces, such as roadways and sidewalks. Mapping the relationship between upslope land and the creek receiving runoff can help identify priority areas where restoration can keep pollutants from entering local waterways and the Susquehanna River.

    “Precision conservation is one of the most exciting new concepts that I have been involved with in my twenty year career in conservation. With its data-driven tools, it truly has the potential to reshape how we approach, plan, and restore streams in Pennsylvania and beyond,” Frank Rohrer, restoration specialist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said. “Just as importantly it creates new partnerships with landowners and organizations, enabling us to get projects on the ground where they are needed the most.”

    Chesapeake Conservancy has financially supported this project through a partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Glen’s Garden Market. To balance the carbon footprint of shipping products from outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed to their grocery stores, Glen’s Garden Market provided funding for the riparian planting.

    The planting includes a diverse mix of high-value wildlife food and cover including shrub, tree, and pollinator forb species. “We are taking a holistic, multifaceted approach to stream restoration in Penns Valley and elsewhere in the Bay watershed,” Lysle Sherwin said. Mr. Sherwin is the principal of Seven Willows LLC and affiliate biologist with the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. Earlier this year, additional best management practices (BMPs) were implemented to control invasive exotic plants, exclude livestock from the stream, provide habitat for trout, and prevent future erosion and sedimentation.

    Chip Brown and Jonathan King own properties along this section of Elk Creek. Brown and King are both optimistic about the in-stream and riparian projects and look forward to continuing to work with all the groups that have made this project possible. “I believe this project will definitely help to stabilize the banks from eroding and increase habitat for the fish in Elk Creek,” King said.

    “The stream work has already improved the rate of flow in the stream in our property and helps to keep sediment off the stream bottom,” Brown said. “I have already spoken to other neighboring streamside landowners about conservation projects. In order for the project to be successful, educating other neighboring streamside landowners will be critical.”

    Currently, 21 Penns Valley landowners are participating in stream restoration and habitat buffer projects on five waterways sponsored by Penns Valley Conservation Association and numerous partners.

    New Mapping Validation Project

    The Chesapeake Conservancy has coordinated with local universities to monitor this location and validate the mapping methodology. In May before the BMPs were installed, four researchers and 15 students began monitoring this and five other study sites.   The research team will continue to monitor water chemistry, algae, fish, and macroinvertebrates at these sites in the ensuing years. Research findings will help validate and refine the mapping tools in order to create a model to use throughout the Susquehanna River watershed, which will ultimately benefit the Chesapeake Bay. Project partners include Chesapeake Conservancy, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, Degenstein Foundation, Susquehanna University, and Bloomsburg University. The project is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction program.

    This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grants program, which support efforts within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to accelerate nutrient and sediment reductions with innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches.

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Get into Mallows Bay Day Oct. 7

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    SESYNC-Microsoft Postdoctoral Fellowship – Big Data and Socio-Environmental Sustainability

    https://www.sesync.org/opportunities/fellowships-postdoctoral-fellowships/sesync-microsoft-postdoctoral-fellowship-big-data

    Apply Link:

    Application Webform

    Deadline:

    May 18, 2017

    The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) and Microsoft invite applications from early career scholars for 2-year postdoctoral fellowships that begin in August 2017.  Each fellow is in residence at SESYNC in Annapolis, MD, is a full participant in SESYNC’s Postdoctoral Immersion Program, and has a Collaborating Research Mentor from Microsoft.  Depending on the project proposed, the fellow may invite a second mentor of their choosing that extends the fellow’s network of collaborators. This mentor may be affiliated with any organization or institution.  Travel funds are available for the fellow to visit with their mentor(s) and to attend scientific conferences.

    This opportunity is open to applicants who have completed their PhD in a relevant field within the last 2 years (no later than July 15, 2017 and no earlier than August 15, 2015).  Applicants are expected to propose ideas for a data synthesis or modeling project that addresses an important environmental question that makes use of one or more assets of Microsoft related environmental projects and collaborations.  Preference will be given to projects that have the potential to advance understanding of socio-environmental systems and thus projects that involve the incorporation of social, health or any human dimensions aspects in addition to environmental data are encouraged.

    The SESYNC Immersion program is designed to advance the fellows’ understanding of theories and methods foundational to research on socio-environmental (S-E) systems and to advance their understanding of the science-policy nexus. Successful candidates will have made clear in their applications how progress on their proposed projects may benefit from participation in the Immersion program and/or how the program aligns with their specific career objectives.

    Geospatial Socio-Environmental research.

    New land cover data at high spatial and temporal resolution offers the potential to improve understanding of landscape processes and to empower local planners and managers in identifying risks and prioritizing responses. When synthesized with other data and used to drive models, data on land cover change can be used to estimate future impacts, prioritize regions for conservation or restoration, track implementation or enforcement of environmental offset commitments, carry out carbon accounting, etc.  In collaboration with Microsoft, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife have pioneered the production of high accuracy, high-resolution (1 m) land cover datasets for the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound watersheds. Using government datasets and advanced machine learning techniques, these land cover products have close to a 90% accuracy level (compared to 78% for the 30-m resolution NLCD that is widely used).

    Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral project that leverages these high-resolution land cover data to address one or more important socio-environmental research questions. Priority will be given to projects that incorporate other social and environmental data sets, either from previously funded investigator-led studies or from government sources. Projects that make cross-site comparisons between the two regions or can demonstrate potential future applications beyond one region are preferred. While advancing fundamental knowledge should be the primary goal of the project, projects that could simultaneously result in tools or knowledge beneficial to local agencies and stakeholders are encouraged.

    Project Premonition and Socio-Environmental Systems.

    Working with academic partners, Microsoft’s Project Premonition designed mosquito traps with smart cells that can identify mosquito species based on wing movements and then capture those of interest along with key environmental data including time, temperature and light levels (www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/project-premonition). Using state-of-the-art metagenomics methods and cloud-scale algorithms, blood from these mosquitos is analyzed to determine animals they have bitten and pathogens they may have encountered.  Researchers are using this system to track the spread of viruses and detect emerging pathogens but there are many other research opportunities this system could enable and that this postdoctoral opportunity is meant to exploit.  Traps have been deployed in several settings and a large amount of data will be forthcoming that can be used to address a very broad range of socio-environmental questions.

    Applications are invited for two-year postdoctoral project that leverage these data.  Particular areas of interest include: exploration of host diversity or population dynamics as they relate to land cover and microclimates, human disturbance gradients, and other factors.  Priority will be given to projects that incorporate other social, human dimensions and environmental data sets, either from previously funded investigator-led studies or from government sources. While advancing fundamental knowledge should be the primary goal of the project, projects that could simultaneously result in tools or knowledge beneficial to the public, local agencies and stakeholders are encouraged.

    Applying is a two-stage process: a qualification step and a proposal submission step. 

    To Qualify to Apply, submit a combined PDF of your C.V. and a detailed cover letter to SESYNC’s webform. The letter should: 1) outline one or more potential research projects (<1 page total for both ideas together); 2) provide in detail the qualifications that make the candidate competitive for this opportunity(< ½ page); and, 3) how the project and an interdisciplinary fellowship will advance the candidate’s career trajectory (½ page).

    Qualifying Applications may be submitted until 5:00 pm Eastern Time on May 18, 2017; applicants will be informed within one week if they are invited to submit a full proposal and if so, will be given instructions.

    Invited full proposals (< 5 pages) are due June 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm ET.

    Invited applicants that have not yet received their PhD are required to submit a letter from their graduate advisor along with the full proposal. The letter should verify expectations for date of degree completion.  Invited applicants will also need to arrange to have two letters of reference sent directly from referee to SESYNC by the June 15 deadline.

    Submission Instructions:

    Click here to apply with SESYNC’s webform.

    The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply.

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Potomac River Cleanup Event at Mallows Bay – May 6

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Partnership Will Improve Stream Mapping for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

    Funding for Project Provided by Chesapeake Bay Trust

    (Annapolis, Md.) – Advances in technology will enable Chesapeake Conservancy to map streams throughout the watershed with unprecedented precision and accuracy. Chesapeake Conservancy recently received funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and will partner with researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to develop a methodology for mapping stream channels throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

    The Conservancy and UMBC will take advantage of the high level of detail available from new technology to improve the stream mapping of headwater streams. The partners will explore using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). LiDAR uses pulses of light from an airplane to collect information about the earth’s surface, similar to how radar collects information about a vehicle or other object’s speed. The data collected using LiDAR can be used to digitally model the surface of a landscape in great detail.

    The project will begin with extensive field surveys to locate and record the location of existing stream channels with GPS to accurately establish where channels begin. The team will then compare this baseline data with different techniques for high-resolution mapping in order to improve the mapping of small streams. These narrow waterways are often under-represented in existing stream datasets.

    “This project, highly ranked as part of the Trust’s grant review process, has the potential to greatly advance how and where we as a community support restoration projects” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “With new information developed from these efforts, we will be able to maximize efficiency of restoration programs.”

    “The Chesapeake Conservancy is grateful for this opportunity provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and is excited to partner with UMBC. This project will bring together decades of scientific and geospatial experience and create scientifically rigorous methodologies that have the potential to work across a variety of different scales and landscapes,” Chesapeake Conservancy Director of Conservation Technology Jeff Allenby said. “Accurate stream maps are critical to our understanding of how terrestrial and aquatic systems are connected throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As we develop a better understanding of how water moves throughout this network, we will improve our ability to effectively direct conservation and restoration efforts where they are most needed and track progress in our goals of improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”

    “LiDAR surface models hold great potential for mapping streams because stream channels carved by running water are readily visible”, Chesapeake Conservancy Geospatial Analyst David Saavedra said. “By utilizing LiDAR, we will be able to map streams with greater detail and accuracy, creating an invaluable resource for conservation and restoration planning.”

    “Mapping stream channels is a deceptively complex undertaking that has long plagued scientists and geographers alike” says UMBC Geography & Environmental Systems Professor Matthew Baker. “Working with the Conservancy and their dedicated team, I think there is great potential to streamline the translation of new knowledge directly into application in service of Bay restoration.”

    The partnership expects to complete the project by June of 2018.

    ###

     

    About the Chesapeake Bay Trust

    The Chesapeake Bay Trust (www.cbtrust.org) is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake region through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration. The Trust engages hundreds of thousands of individuals annually in projects that have a measurable impact on the waterways and other natural resources of the region. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate, donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form, donations from individuals and corporations, and partnerships with private foundations and federal and state agencies. The Trust has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for fourteen years: 92 percent of the Trust’s expenditures are directed to its restoration and education programs.

     

    About the Chesapeake Chesapeake Conservancy

     The Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the watershed; conserve the landscapes and special places that sustain the Chesapeake’s unique natural and cultural resources; and restore landscapes, rivers, and habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. As principal partner for the National Park Service on the John Smith Chesapeake Trail, we helped create 108 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, and Fort Monroe National Monument. www.chesapeakeconservancy.org

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Attend Public Meetings for Mallows Bay Mar. 7 and Mar. 9

    Mallows Flyer

     Support the Chesapeake’s first National Marine Sanctuary!
    Attend NOAA’s Public Meetings!

    La Plata, MD
    March 7, 2017 6-9 pm
    Charles County Govt Blding
    200 Baltimore Street

    Arnold, MD
    March 9, 2017 6-9 pm
    Anne Arundel Comm College
    CALT Blding Room 100
    101 College Parkway

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    MEDIA ADVISORY: Chesapeake Conservancy Encourages Public Participation for Mallows Bay – Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary

    Mallows Flyer

    NOTE TO MEDIA: Images of Mallows Bay – Potomac River available upon request.

    MEDIA CONTACT: Jody Couser, (443) 703-8678 jcouser@chesapeakeconservancy.org 

    MEDIA ADVISORY February 22, 2016
    Chesapeake Conservancy Encourages Public Participation for Mallows Bay – Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary
    Public Urged to Comment and Attend Public Meetings

    WHAT: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will hold public meetings to allow comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to designate Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA will also accept public comments online, as well as via mail and email.

    WHEN & WHERE:

    March 7, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
    Charles County Government Building
    200 Baltimore Street
    La Plata, MD 20646

    &

    March 9, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
    Anne Arundel Community College
    CALT Building
    101 College Parkway
    Arnold, MD 21012

    Comments can be submitted at: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=NOAA-NOS-2016-0149-0001

    The deadline to submit comments is March 31, 2017.

    WHY:  Mallows Bay – Potomac River is located approximately 30 miles south of Washington, D.C. and boasts the largest visible collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. As the newest national marine sanctuary, Mallows Bay-Potomac River would highlight one of America’s most extensive and culturally significant collections of shipwrecks. The designation would allow it to be better studied, interpreted, and managed.

    In October 2015, NOAA announced its intent to designate a new national marine sanctuary to help conserve nationally significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources in Maryland. NOAA released a DEIS of Mallows Bay-Potomac River in December 2016.

    The area offers visitors recreational opportunities, such as kayaking and canoeing among the shipwrecks. The wrecks have created artificial reefs that provide habitat for wildlife, including bald eagles, heron, osprey, beavers, river otters, deer, and turtles. Mallows Bay is also popular for its fishing opportunities, both recreational and commercial, which would continue if the site is designated. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Potomac River Fisheries Commission will continue to manage fishing, as before.

    For more information about Mallows Bay – Potomac River, please visit our website.

  • New Announcement
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    Chesapeake Conservancy to Highlight Benefits of High-Resolution Dataset at Esri Federal User Conference

    CIC Banner

    (Annapolis, Md.) – The Chesapeake Conservancy will present at the opening plenary of the 2017 Esri Federal User Conference in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 13. The conference will be attended by thousands of the region’s Esri software users, including staff from federal agencies, as well as state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Chesapeake Conservancy Director of Conservation Technology Jeff Allenby and Geospatial Program Manager Cassandra Pallai will present a live demonstration on the production and application of high-resolution land cover data.

    The invitation to present follows on the heels of a technology milestone for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. In December of 2016, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) announced the completion of the Chesapeake Bay High-Resolution Land Cover Project. Chesapeake Conservancy staff spearheaded a yearlong effort, in partnership with the University of Vermont and Worldview Solutions, Inc. to complete  this dataset, which is one meter by one meter resolution land cover data for the nearly 100,000 square miles comprising the Chesapeake Bay watershed and surrounding counties. The data provides detailed categorical information about the landscape, such as where roads, impervious surfaces, and trees exist. What started in 2013 as a pilot grant with Intel has grown into a technology movement that will significantly enhance land management, conservation and restoration prioritization, as well as environmental verification, among other things.

    “Presenting at Esri’s Federal User Conference is going to be a powerful platform to highlight the role the Chesapeake Conservancy has been playing in the conservation and restoration movement throughout the Chesapeake,” Allenby said. “We don’t necessarily play a largely public role in our partners’ use of the land cover. We play a supporting role, one where our data is enabling partners, from the federal government to local water keepers, to be able to do their jobs better. The Esri conference is going to be an opportunity for people to see the contributions we are making—to highlight the work we have been doing with our partners and our limitless potential as conservation entrepreneurs—to continue to improve the conservation movement in the Chesapeake and beyond.”

    Allenby and Pallai are presenting on advancements in Esri software and Microsoft Azure cloud technology that will be very beneficial to Chesapeake cleanup efforts. The pair aims to show how environmental planning, both in the Chesapeake Bay and outside of the watershed, can benefit from thinking differently about how land is managed. Traditional methods have relied on imprecise information that is slow to produce, but new computing abilities are opening doors to faster turn-around on making data. This means that we can get actionable information quickly, when and where action is needed most. Chesapeake Conservancy has pushed the envelope and merged the application of cutting edge technology with the traditional conservation movement.

    Allenby will kick off the demo with a preview of the Chesapeake Conservancy’s work on designing and implementing a faster way to make land cover data. “Our efforts on this front will allow us to detect changes as they’re happening, rather than years after the fact,” says Allenby. Next, Pallai will describe how the land cover and cloud-based improvements for processing time can be applied to the real-world problem of planting riparian buffers in Pennsylvania. “Raw data does not give us the guidance that we need to take management actions; it needs analyzing in context with many datasets to provide information useful to managers,” explains Pallai. “Esri is giving us the chance to highlight how our work on applying technology to guide the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Pennsylvania restoration projects can be scaled to other parts of the watershed.”

    ###

    The Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the watershed; conserve the landscapes and special places that sustain the Chesapeake’s unique natural and cultural resources; and restore landscapes, rivers, and habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. As principal partner for the National Park Service on the John Smith Chesapeake Trail, we helped create 108 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, and Fort Monroe National Monument. www.chesapeakeconservancy.org

  • New Announcement
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    Support Mallows Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary!

    Mallows Flyer

    How can you help designate Mallows Bay as the first ever National Marine Sanctuary? Share our flyer with your friends and family. Encourage them to leave a comment letting NOAA know you want to protect Mallows Bay for future generations.

    Support the Chesapeake’s first National Marine Sanctuary! Submit your comments supporting the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan by March 31.

    To submit a comment, visit: http://bit.ly/2jRbCGS

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition to Host Green Opportunity and Job Fair for Baltimore Youth and Cultural Awareness Workshop for Employers

    NOTE TO MEDIA: Media are invited and welcome to attend this event.

    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Jody Couser, (443) 703-8678

    jcouser@chesapeakeconservancy.org

     

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    January 19, 2017

     

    Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition to Host Green Opportunity and Job Fair for Baltimore Youth and Cultural Awareness Workshop for Employers

     

    WHAT:  Two-part event designed to engage Baltimore students and young adults interested in conservation careers and to support cultural competency in conservation organizations interested in diversifying the people that work with and for them.

    Part I – Conservation Organization Workshop

    Representatives of conservation organizations will discuss and learn from each other effective practices that break down cultural barriers in listening and participation, and identify the entry points and needs of conservation job seekers in Baltimore. Participating organizations will also identify new opportunities for collaboration.

    Part II – Green Opportunity and Job Fair

    Featuring speakers on conservation careers and activism, and informational tables focused on currently available jobs and job training opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and internships. One-on-one conservation career counseling and job skills coaching will also be available.

     

    WHO:  Organizations registered to participate in the event include:

     

    American Landscape Institute

    Baltimore Center for Green Careers

    Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School

    Baltimore City Forest Board

    Baltimore City Recreation and Parks

    Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Bike Program

    Blue Water Baltimore

    Chesapeake Bay Foundation

    Chesapeake Center for Youth Development

    Chesapeake Conservancy

    Civic Works’ Baltimore Center for Green Careers

    Details Deconstruction

    EPA Chesapeake Bay Program

    Living Classrooms Foundation

    Maryland Department of Agriculture

    Maryland Department of Natural Resources

    Maryland Natural Resources Police

    Maryland Sierra Club

    Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

    National Aquarium in Baltimore

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Education

    National Wildlife Refuge Association

    Parks and People Foundation

    Patterson Park Audubon Center

    Student Conservation Association

    The READY Program

    US Fish and Wildlife Service

    USDA Forest Service

    Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore

     

    WHEN:  January 26, 2017

    Conservation Organization Workshop 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

    Green Opportunity and Job Fair 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

     

    WHERE: Coppin State University

    Talon Center, 2500 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216

     

    Organization Registration: http://tinyurl.com/GBWCOppOrg

    Youth Participant Registration: http://tinyurl.com/GBWCOppReg

     
    ###

    The Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition’s mission is to improve the quality of life by identifying, restoring, enhancing and protecting an interconnected network of lands and waters supporting healthy ecosystems and communities to benefit the people and wildlife of central Maryland.

  • New Announcement
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    Chesapeake Bay Restoration to Benefit from Groundbreaking Technology Advancement

    Shorelines_cover_Fade_DC_mall (2)

    Data project will save government and nonprofit resources

     

    Annapolis, MD — Today, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) announced the completion of theChesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project. It is a critical and timely step needed to improve information about the natural and human-made features that exist on the landscape of the Bay watershed, such as buildings, tree canopy and water. CBP will use this dataset in 2017 as the foundation of its effort to evaluate stakeholder progress toward meeting reduction targets for Bay pollution loads.

     

    Chesapeake Conservancy, a small nonprofit in Annapolis, Maryland, offered an innovative solution to help CBP improve available data about the Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) spearheaded a partnership with the University of Vermont and Worldview Solutions, Inc. to complete the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project, one of the largest high-resolution land cover datasets in the nation.

     

    For ten months, the teams of geospatial analysts worked to produce one-meter by one-meter resolution land cover data for nearly 100,000 square miles comprising the Chesapeake Bay watershed and surrounding counties.  This new land cover classification has a high degree of accuracy and provides 900 times the amount of information over the existing watershed-wide dataset. Most importantly, this data will bepublicly available and updated periodically, at no cost for anyone to use.

     

    The CBP will use the high-resolution land cover data to improve and refine its current suite of modeling tools. This improved level of detail will enhance the evaluation of progress in support of the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Mid-Point Assessment (Bay TMDL). In addition, the high-resolution land cover data will provide the following specific benefits, as examples:

     

    Characterizing, mapping and tracking of wetlands, riparian forest buffers, forests and impervious surfaces;

     

    Prioritizing and targeting restoration, conservation, education and public access efforts; and

     

    Verifying riparian buffer and urban tree canopy best management practices.

     

    The Chesapeake Conservancy has piloted the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project by integrating the data into decision-support tools for restoration and conservation. Efforts of federal, state and local government agencies, nonprofits and for-profit environmental investment firms all have benefited from the data products,

     

    The District of Columbia’s Urban Forestry Administration recently turned to the CIC for assistance in deciding where to plant trees on public lands by analyzing such elements as areas where there is no tree cover and surface water accumulates.

     

    Ecosystem Investment Partners cooperated with the CIC to obtain information on the best places for stream restoration projects in the State of Maryland.

     

    The National Park Service partnered with the CIC to determine the viewshed and most evocative landscapes in need of protection for the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail.

     

    High-resolution land cover data will directly benefit all of CBP’s goal implementation teams, advisory committees and workgroups, and support nearly all outcomes specified in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

     
    Facts
     

    Land cover classification data is categorical information about the natural and human-made features that exist on the landscape, such as buildings, tree canopy and water. Datasets vary in the geographic areas that they represent, their spatial resolution and the number of landscape feature types they describe.

     

    Land cover is one of the principal data sets used by the CBP modeling suite to estimate the amount ofnutrients and sediments transported across the watershed into the Chesapeake Bay. This high-resolution land cover data will inform the Bay TMDL Mid-Point Assessment.

     
    Issues
     

    Across the board, reliable land cover classification data, especially at high-resolutions, is expensive to produce and requires expert staff, computers and software. This makes it difficult for organizations and government agencies to generate on their own. Without accurate and precise data, however, it often is challenging to set realistic, rigorous pollution targets. To date, CBP had relied on 30-meter land cover data produced by the U.S. Geological Survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While it can describe generalized landscape trends, data at this resolution cannot accurately depict urban tree canopy, turf grass, narrow roads and small buildings.

     
    Importance
     

    The High-resolution Land Cover Project will be useful not only to the restoration efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Program, but also to state and local governments, nonprofits, private businesses and academic institutions throughout the watershed.  It provides partner organizations with the power to practice precision conservation, which is loosely described as getting the right restoration and conservation practices, in the right places and the right times. Effective and impactful decisions about where to target conservation efforts, made based on the foundational land cover data, will save government and nonprofit redundancies and resources.

     

    For example, the U.S. Forest Service is working to integrate the data into their iTree platform, a suite of free urban and rural forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is using the data to help identify and prioritize potential riparian buffer restoration efforts; and local governments will be able to use the data to characterize the landscape in updates to comprehensive plans and other local planning documents.

     

    Quotes

    “This new information can only help us make better decisions as we continue our progress in restoring the Chesapeake Bay. This has always been a program based on cutting edge science and the availability of this data to local governments, non-profit organizations, consultants, academic institutions and state and federal agencies will help ensure will marshal our limited resources to achieve the greatest benefit.”

     

    –Molly Joseph Ward, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, and Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program Principals’ Staff Committee

     

    “The power of data behind the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project cannot be overstated. This is a technological snapshot, the likes of which we’ve never had before, of exactly how the land is being used across the entire watershed. Now restoration and conservation decisions can be made that more closely and accurately reflect real-world conditions.”

     

    –Nick DiPasquale, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program

     

    “This truly is what I call a ‘watershed moment,’ a new era for the conservation movement. Think of this innovative technology as an MRI for the landscape, the results of which are being harnessed, focused and deployed to practice precision conservation, helping to make the struggling Chesapeake Bay healthier. This is a foundation for all organizations, agencies, corporations and individuals to work more effectively together.”

     

    –          Joel Dunn, President and CEO, Chesapeake Conservancy

     

    “The Chesapeake Bay High-Resolution Land Cover Project is groundbreaking in many ways. One of the country’s largest high-resolution land cover datasets now will be free to download for anyone, anywhere. This initiative was highlighted recently in a White House report about technological innovations for conservation and has been mentioned as a model to be replicated nationwide.  Land use and land use change is a key issue for, and beyond, the Bay. With an increasing human population having an ever-increasing impact on the Chesapeake’s land, water, air and climate, we are looking now to provide regular, timely updates to this information. Thanks to help from our partners at Microsoft and Esri, our new methods, which are being tested for pilot areas in the Bay, should reduce update time by half or more of the existing standard.”

     

    –          Jeffrey Allenby, Director of Conservation Technology, Chesapeake Conservancy

     

  • New Event
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    New Event

    Champions of the Chesapeake 2016

    CHESAPEAKE CONSERVANCY TO HOST THIRD ANNUAL 

    “CHAMPIONS OF THE CHESAPEAKE” DINNER AND AWARDS

    Awards Will Recognize Dedication and Leadership of Organizations, Public Servants, Individuals, and Companies 

    in the Protection and Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay

    ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Chesapeake Conservancy will host its third annual “Champions of the Chesapeake” dinner and awards on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, at the Loews Annapolis Hotel.

    The evening will celebrate the dedication and leadership of organizations, public servants, individuals, and companies in the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

     

    WHO:  Chesapeake Conservancy

    WHAT:  Third Annual “Champions of the Chesapeake” Dinner and Awards

    WHEN:  Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

    WHERE:  The Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

    WHY:  To celebrate the dedication and leadership of organizations, public servants, individuals, and companies in the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay

    HONOREES: This year’s honorees are:

    Philanthropic Champion – Mt. Cuba Center, accepted by Ann C. Rose, President

    Public Servant Champions – The Honorable John W. Warner, former U.S. Senator of Virginia, and the Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes, former U.S. Senator of Maryland

    Next Generation Champion – Kimberly Hernandez

    Corporate Champion – Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), accepted by Matt Liddle, Mid-Atlantic Manager for Outdoor Programs and Outreach.

    Tickets are $125.00 and include cocktail reception and Chesapeake dinner.  To purchase tickets or learn about sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/champions-of-the-chesapeake

    Previous award winners include U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Mr. Keith Campbell, Skyline Technology Solutions, Inc., National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, Dr. Mamie Parker, (retired) US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Esri.

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Chesapeake Conservancy launches online campaign to fund Great Blue Heron Webcam

    Greetings from the Chesapeake Conservancy in Annapolis, MD, home to 2 popular Maryland wildlife webcams (osprey & peregrine), and hopefully with your support, a 3rd! We have been invited to set up a webcam at a Great Blue Heron Rookery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We are crowdfunding to try and make this happen. Even a donation of $5 can help get us there!

    Click here to support Launch Great Heron Rookery Webcam by Jody Couser

    Help the Chesapeake Conservancy bring the captivating wonder of a great blue heron rookery to the world through a wildlife webcam! Last week, we had the…

    GOFUNDME.COM

  • New Job Announcement
    Group logo of Chesapeake Network
    New Job Announcement

    Director of Development

    The Chesapeake Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit located in Annapolis, MD, works to achieve a healthier Chesapeake Bay watershed by connecting people with its wildlife and history; conserving landscapes and rivers; and restoring its natural resources.

    The Conservancy seeks an experienced Director of Development to serve as a key member of the leadership team. The Director is responsible for all fund raising and development activities and events, and for forging new relationships to build the organization’s financial resources. Working closely with the development team, and with staff and members of the Board, the Director will expand and diversify the organization’s donor base, and implement a comprehensive plan for cultivating, and securing philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public sources.

    Candidates must have a minimum of five years of experience, with proven record of success in fund raising and management. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree, demonstrate excellent interpersonal and communication skills, an ability to work in a fast paced environment, and experience with preparation of funding requests.

    Preference will be given to those candidates with a successful track record in major gift solicitation and campaigns, leadership in a mission-driven, environmental advocacy or educational organization, and proficiency in fund raising software (GiftWorks, Raiser’s Edge, etc.).

    Key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

    Daily planning and execution of all functional based fund raising programs.
    Generating private funding for annual operating needs, and program and project priorities.
    Developing corporate and foundation funding sources, and managing fund raising events.
    Working with program staff on public funding opportunities, and supporting application and reporting needs.
    Expanding the overall base of support throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
    Developing and managing fund raising program expense budgets.

    How to Apply:

    Candidates interested in applying for this opportunity should send a resume and cover letter, including salary requirements and one writing sample to Sarah Elder via email, at hr@chesapeakeconservancy.org. Review of candidates will continue until the position is filled.

    The Chesapeake Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. Salary and benefits are commensurate with the candidate’s relevant professional experience and/or education. The Chesapeake Conservancy offers a competitive employee benefits package that includes health and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and participation in a retirement savings plan. Opportunities for advancement and professional development are available.

Hey... where's the rest?

As we transfer data from the old platform to the new one, we're taking baby steps. If it seems like something is missing, we'll likely be added it over the next few weeks. If you need something in particular, feel free to ask.