Our focus is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.


We believe the Chesapeake is a national treasure that should be healthy, accessible to everyone, and its watershed a place where people and wildlife thrive.


To conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations.

We serve as a catalyst for change, advancing strong public and private partnerships, developing and using new technology and empowering environmental stewardship.

Our objective is to accelerate progress to conserve 30% of the Chesapeake watershed by 2030 by equitably connecting people to the Chesapeake while conserving and restoring priority lands and waters.


Gabrielle Roffe (left), Chesapeake Conservancy manager of equity & community engagement, joined Camilla Sandoval (right), American conservation experience fellow for the National Park Service Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division, and Michelle Ramirez (not pictured), multicultural outreach coordinator for Maryland Department of Natural Resources, as presenters at the 2020 Small Museum Association Conference.

Protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay requires diversity in perspective and practice.

Chesapeake Conservancy understands that protecting and restoring the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed require intentional commitment to inclusive practices and narratives within the conservation movement. Through our work we celebrate and elevate the people, places and cultures of the region, especially by engaging underrepresented communities. Committing to the values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice is critical to achieve our vision of a Chesapeake that is healthy, accessible to everyone and a place where people and wildlife thrive. To that end, we commit ourselves to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice both in our programmatic priorities and our internal organizational development through inclusive recruitment of staff and board members and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.

  • Advocate for and implement the priorities of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail) in partnership with the National Park Service
  • Quantify the conservation movement and empower environmental stewards
  • Defend and expand conservation, recreation and restoration programs
  • Enhance collaboration and leverage partnerships
  • Develop replicable approaches

What We Do


Connect people to the natural, cultural and recreational opportunities of the Chesapeake watershed – including its rivers, tributaries, landscapes and historic places. Implement Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail) and Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network in partnership with the National Park Service.


Work with partners and leverage data-driven strategies to conserve 30% of the Chesapeake watershed’s lands by 2030 and the special places that are important to diverse communities, indigenous tribes, and visitors and that preserve the Chesapeake watershed for this and future generations.


Expedite the Chesapeake watershed restoration effort by leveraging data-driven strategies and partnerships to meet regional habitat and water quality standards and provide their associated community benefits.


Infuse diversity-based policies and practices in our culture that are essential for the success of Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission.


Ensure adequate funding, staff, controls and proficiencies to remain the key partner for connecting, conserving and restoring land and water in the Chesapeake watershed, including with the Earl Conservation Center at Quiet Waters Park.

Message from the Chairman & President

Chesapeake Conservancy Board Chair Randall Larrimore (left) and President and CEO Joel Dunn (right)

Equitably Connecting, Conserving and Restoring the Bay

We are pleased to report that Chesapeake Conservancy managed through the pandemic and accomplished many of our goals. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that in a seemingly uncertain world, one thing is certain — change is the only constant.

Chesapeake Conservancy board members, staff, partners and supporters like you rose to the challenge and continued to protect clean water, wildlife habitat and our way of life. Like many other organizations, we were confronted by the realities of a global pandemic that demanded we no longer conduct business as usual. Together, we did our best to stay focused on delivering conservation results that will persist long after this storm has passed. And, of course, like many of you, we did this work from home doing our best to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

While the nation looked inward and experienced a social reckoning that was long overdue, as an organization we redoubled our efforts to increase Diversity, Equity, Justice and Inclusion in the conservation movement and throughout our daily work.

As people turned toward nature for solace and recreation during the pandemic, parks throughout the Chesapeake watershed had a hard time meeting demand. People waited in long lines to get into their favorite park, some parks filled early in the day and had to close their gates to new visitors, and many county parks were closed to non-residents. Our hope is that society’s passion and appreciation for outdoor recreation and the environment never fades, but it’s evident that we need more parks—a rally cry shared by conservationists for decades.

In 2020, we joined partners to launch the coalition to create the Chesapeake National Recreation Area (CNRA). It was not by design that we did this during the pandemic and when people were clamoring for more parks, but the pandemic certainly helped explain the need. It’s time for the Chesapeake to have National Park Service status. We thank the growing number of coalition partners and supporters who are helping to advance this worthy effort. Learn more at www.united4cnra.com.

The year brought many significant wins for conservation that will help us meet the goal of conserving 30% of the Chesapeake by 2030. Thanks to your support, Chesapeake Conservancy and our partners across the country worked with Congress to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, one of the biggest conservation victories in decades. This new legislation creates annual funding to protect parks, forests, wildlife refuges and wetlands forever, which will reduce threats to flora and fauna diversity and slow climate change. You also helped us pass the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, one of the most important bills for the Chesapeake Bay restoration movement in 35 years. Now the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can do even more for the Chesapeake.

Thank you for your support during this incredibly difficult year. We have indeed grown stronger together and are optimistic that through our innovative precision conservation, advocacy and strategic partnerships we will dramatically impact the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the benefit of all.

2020 Board
of Directors

Randall W. Larrimore, Chair
Molly Joseph Ward, Vice Chair
Leslie Delagran, Treasurer
Marc Bunting, Secretary
Maite Arce
Mark Belton
Thad Bench
Michael Brubaker
Joel E. Dunn
Verna Harrison
Stephanie Meeks
John G. Neely
Mamie A. Parker, Ph.D.
John J. Reynolds
Chief G. Anne Richardson
Jeffrey Sabot
Richard Scobey
Robert G. Stanton
Nancy B. Walters, Ph.D.

Honorary Members

Gilbert M. Grosvenor
U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (ret.)
U.S. Senator John Warner (ret.)

Emeritus Directors

Patrick F. Noonan
Charles A. Stek

2020 Chesapeake Council

David Blitzer
Keith Campbell
Charles H. “Chip” Collins
Dr. Wilton “Wilt” Corkern
Lavinia Currier
Dr. Sylvia Earle
Elinor Farquhar
Sid Jamieson
Amanda Savage Mahoney
Joan Murray
Truman Semans, Sr.
Nancy Merrill Sullivan
Ann Swanson
John Turner
H.W. “Skip” Wieder
Steven Williams

2020 Chesapeake
Conservancy Staff

Patty Allen, Vice President of Administration
Jeffrey Allenby, Director of Conservation Technology
Michael Bowman, Partnership Communications Coordinator
Mark Conway, Executive Vice President of Programs
Jody Couser, Senior Vice President of Communications
Jacob Czawlytko, Senior Geospatial Analyst
John Davy, Virginia Project & Partnership Coordinator
Carly Dean, Program Manager
Joel E. Dunn, President & CEO
Melissa Ehrenreich, Senior Vice President of Development & Business Strategy
Jessica Elliott, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member
Kelsey Everett, Partnership Digital Resources Associate
Ellen Gardner, Senior Vice President of Finance / Chief Financial Officer
Adrienne Gemberling, Project Manager
John Griffin, Program Manager, Chesapeake Conservation Partnership
Louis Keddell, Geospatial Program Manager
Emilie Lahneman, Development & Annual Fund Coordinator
Jacob Leizear, Senior Geospatial Analyst
Kumar Mainali, Geospatial Data Scientist
Joseph McCauley, Chesapeake Fellow
Emily Mills, Geospatial Technology Manager
Susan Minnemeyer, Vice President of Technology
Mary Molloy, Geospatial Analyst
Erin Montgomery, Communications Associate
Mende Naylor, Executive Assistant
Reed Perry, Manager of External Affairs
Matt Provost, Vice President of Development
Sara Ramotnik, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member
Gabrielle Roffe, Manager, Equity & Community Engagement
David Saavedra, Geospatial Technical Lead
Susan Shingledecker, Vice President & Director of Programs
Helen Sieracki, Human Resources Coordinator
Rachel Soobitsky, Geospatial Project Manager
Lisa Spallitta, Accounting Coordinator
Susan Stephenson, Grants & Contracts Specialist
Katie Walker, Senior Geospatial Analyst/Project Coordinator
Emily Wiggans, Geospatial Analyst



Secured more than $40 million in federal funds (FY15-21) to protect more than 7,000 acres of land at national parks, wildlife refuges and forests in the Chesapeake along with partners through the Land and Water Conservation Fund program. Chesapeake Conservancy is committed to conserving 30% of the Chesapeake by 2030. Today, 22% of the watershed is conserved. Together, with your support, we can reach the 30% goal.

Established the Conservation Innovation Center to empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. Our team of geospatial analysts worked with partners to produce 1-meter-resolution land cover data for approximately 100,000 square miles of land in and surrounding the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the Chesapeake Bay Program. This data is open for all land conservation entities, large or small, to use to implement precision conservation. We continue to create tools for our partners to command the data and drive impressive change on the ground.

Through land conservation, restoration and empowering the conservation community with the latest data and technology, we are working every day to slow climate change and help communities become more resilient.

We partner with NPS Chesapeake and others to protect and/or expand our special places and restore our great rivers.
  • Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network for 194 new access sites
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail)
  • Mallows Bay–Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary
  • Werowocomoco
  • Antietam National Battlefield
  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
  • Fort Monroe National Monument
  • George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
  • Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
  • James River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge
  • Creation and expansion of state and local parks


More than 18 million people call the Chesapeake home and have fallen in love with its awesome landscapes and rivers. So much so that thousands of acres of open space disappear each year. We are in a race against time to conserve, protect and restore what makes the Chesapeake so special before it is too late. Thank you for supporting our work. No amount is too small or too large to help us achieve great things together.

“When we are gone, what is going to do the most good? We have made a home with nature, we’ve enjoyed it. Now it is incumbent upon us to pass those treasures on to future generations.”

Charles and Mary Dankmeyer, members of our Seven Generations Society who have left a planned gift for Chesapeake Conservancy in their will.

To find out how to make a planned gift, visit our website.

Your tax-deductible contribution of any amount is truly appreciated. Our tax ID number is 26-2271377.



National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office

For more than a decade, Chesapeake Conservancy has worked hand in hand with the National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office as its principal nonprofit partner developing the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and supporting the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

Congress established the Gateways Program in 1998, which has enabled NPS Chesapeake to provide approximately $24 million in financial and technical assistance for more than 360 projects in communities across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, improving Bay access and fueling our thriving outdoor recreation economy.

Chesapeake Conservancy Executive Vice President of Programs Mark Conway and NPS Chesapeake Bay Office Superintendent Wendy O’Sullivan
Roving Ranger and Bilingual Rangers

The pandemic waylaid the original plans for both the Chesapeake Roving Ranger — the mobile visitor information center for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and a partnership program between NPS Chesapeake and Chesapeake Conservancy — as well as the NPS Chesapeake-funded bilingual Spanish outreach rangers. However, the team quickly reconfigured work plans and spent the summer of 2020 creating engaging virtual content in both English and Spanish to help with bilingual outreach.


Thank you to the NPS Chesapeake Bay Office for funding our Chesapeake Gateways summer youth employees. From left to right, top to bottom: Bilingual Interpretive Outreach Assistant Julian Segovia, Interpretive Outreach Assistant Yazan Hasan, Bilingual Interpretive Outreach Assistant Isabel Layton and Interpretive Outreach Assistant Carly Sniffen, pictured here at one of their many Zoom meetings.
We Need to Talk

In 2020, our partners at the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office started a new web-based discussion series called “We Need to Talk” to amplify the voices of people of color working in Chesapeake conservation and recreation fields. The first conversation was among distinguished Black professionals in honor of Juneteenth. Two additional sessions featured Latinx colleagues. The “We Need to Talk” series explored the intersection of race, history and the outdoors and its relationship to the shared work in connecting people with and conserving important Chesapeake places. Chesapeake Conservancy contributed promotional support, and we are proud of our partner for hosting these important conversations. To view the first three sessions, visit the “Chesapeake NPS” YouTube page.

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail)

Chesapeake Conservancy is a proud partner and advocate for the Chesapeake Trail, a 3,000-mile water and land trail that highlights the landscapes of the American Indians who lived in the Chesapeake region, the voyages of Captain John Smith and his crew from 1607–1609 and the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Since its founding in 2006, we have assisted in increasing public access and protecting the land along the trail.

The Chesapeake Trail had many successes in 2020. These included commissioning and assisting in the completion of an archeological overview of Werowocomoco — residence of Powhatan and the site of the first meetings between Native leaders and English colonists — and being featured in a new book, America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History.

The trail also piloted the Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands Corps Individual Placement Program, which provided a 26-week opportunity for tribal youth to be involved in park operations, preservation and the visitor experience at Werowocomoco.

In 2020, Chesapeake Conservancy hired Erin Montgomery, the first communications associate focusing solely on the trail, a shared position with the National Park Service.

Over the next couple years, we look forward to assisting in the opening of Werowocomoco to the public, as well as supporting a variety of education, conservation and development efforts around the entire trail.


Case Study on Fones Cliffs

While there is still much work to be done, a portion of Fones Cliffs has been conserved, representing a huge “win” for the Rappahannock Tribe, the Chesapeake Bay, the Rappahannock River Land Protection Partnership, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Thank you to the Partnership for the National Trails System and to support from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration for producing this case study of a conservation success story.

Making Restoration Local: NFWF Grant Awarded for Precision Conservation in Pennsylvania

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded funding to Chesapeake Conservancy and the Precision Conservation Partnership for a major restoration initiative in central Pennsylvania. The funding is provided through the NFWF’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction program. Sixteen partners make up the Precision Conservation Partnership and share and transfer knowledge within the region, accelerating community buy-in and restoration engagement through an innovative, hyper-local focused approach.

The three-year project will pair restoration with local partners in six central Pennsylvania counties bringing new funding to the region, resulting in full-farm restoration on 25-30 farms where the greatest benefits to water quality can be realized. This project has the potential to serve as a national model for coordinating on-the-ground implementation with high-resolution mapping to improve the health of streams so they can be removed from Pennsylvania’s impaired streams list — a designation of poor stream quality assigned by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

First Phase of New Park Project in Seaford Begins

Chesapeake Conservancy and project partners broke ground in December on a major new public access site on the Nanticoke River in Delaware, phase one of the revitalization of the old J.B. Robinson Oyster House site along the Seaford River Walk. Seaford Mayor David Genshaw and Chesapeake Conservancy Board Chair Randall Larrimore were on hand to mark the occasion.



Partnership Conserves 438 Acres in Wicomico County

In June, the Taylors Trail Sand Ridge Ecologically Sensitive Area in Wicomico County became home to an additional 438 acres of conserved land at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), The Nature Conservancy and Chesapeake Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy and the USFWS collaborated to identify the property’s natural attributes and worked with the landowner to add the property to the national refuge system. In addition, Chesapeake Conservancy secured private funds from the Mt. Cuba Center and funds from the sale of the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, to finance the acquisition.

30 x 30

In 2020, Chesapeake Conservancy published “Conserving 30% of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed’s Lands by 2030,” a memorandum that outlines our work to implement a 30% by 2030 goal for the Chesapeake landscape. Here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where 22% of the Chesapeake’s lands are already protected, this is an achievable goal through hard work, leveraging technology and the power of partnerships — especially the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership.

Click to Enlarge


Chesapeake National Recreation Area (CNRA)

In 2020, a coalition of partners joined together to support the call for a Chesapeake National Recreation Area. This “21st-century park” would be a collection of parks and other public lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that bring national and international attention to the Bay’s significant natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources. Formally connected through partnerships between the National Park Service and communities and states, these parks would become the CNRA and tell a consistent narrative about the nation’s largest estuary and one of the world’s largest environmental restoration efforts. Visit www.united4cnra.com to learn more.

ConserveVirginia 2.0 Plan

Chesapeake Conservancy celebrated Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s ConserveVirginia 2.0 Plan. This June update added important geospatial data to the cutting-edge, original ConserveVirginia Plan, especially the new water quality layer and enhancements to the existing scenic and cultural layers.

America’s Conservation Enhancement Act

In October, Congress passed a bipartisan conservation package, the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE Act). The ACE Act extended the authorization for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, reauthorized the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act, and extended authorizations through fiscal year 2025 for two Chesapeake Bay programs — the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network. It also established a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program for the Chesapeake Bay, called the Chesapeake WILD Act.

Maryland Governor Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

Advocacy efforts in 2020 contributed to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget which, for the third consecutive year, fully funded Program Open Space and associated land preservation programs, with $177.7 million allocated. The budget also fully funded the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund at a record level of $57.2 million.

Great American Outdoors Act

Chesapeake Conservancy advocated for and applauded the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). GAOA permanently and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), effectively doubling, in perpetuity, conservation funds for America’s national parks and public lands as well as state parks. GAOA also provides substantial funding to address deferred maintenance at national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands over the next five years.

FY21 Federal Appropriations

Chesapeake Conservancy celebrated successful advocacy for conservation outcomes in the omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The bill increased funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program by $2.5 million and fully funded the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network program at $3 million.


Harvard Business School

Studies CIC

In March, Harvard Business School released a case study entitled “Chesapeake Conservancy: Launching the Conservation Innovation Center.” The case will be used in various business and social entrepreneurship courses.

Earthshot: Democratizing Data to Protect 30% of the Planet by 2030

Chesapeake Conservancy and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy co-hosted the interactive webinar “Earthshot: Democratizing Data to Protect 30% of the Planet by 2030.” The program was facilitated by Dr. Lynda Applegate of Harvard Business School and included opening remarks from Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri. Presenters included Clint Brown (Esri), Brian O’Donnell (Campaign for Nature), Dr. Tom Lovejoy (United Nations Foundation), Dr. Lucas Joppa (Microsoft), Jeffrey Allenby (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy) and Joel Dunn (Chesapeake Conservancy).

Technology to Help Endangered Fish Species

Chesapeake Conservancy’s CIC collaborated with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to highlight work done by the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. Funding and support were provided by the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, a center of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. “Swimming Upstream” uses data to create an illustrative and interactive digital platform to show the recovery program’s efforts to conserve native and endangered fish populations threatened by invasive species, diverging water uses and needs and other challenges.

Solar Siting for Baltimore County and City

Valleys Planning Council, a nonprofit organization based in Towson, Maryland, commissioned the Chesapeake Conservancy’s CIC to use geospatial analysis to identify optimal solar sites. The October report, Solar Siting Methodology for State and Local Governments Pilot: Baltimore County and City, showed extensive opportunities for placing solar panels on previously degraded lands and on rooftops of commercial, industrial and residential buildings; and by creating solar canopies on parking lots.

Identified Land Essential to Drinking Water Safety

Chesapeake Conservancy’s CIC joined the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative, a vibrant network of more than 25 partners, including water utilities, land conservation organizations and community groups working to protect safe, clean drinking water for communities in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. In June, the collaborative published an interactive map and a story map with support from CIC and the Land Trust Alliance’s Land & Water Initiative to identify land in Jefferson and Berkeley counties essential to drinking water safety.

Study on Park Mobility During COVID-19

Chesapeake Conservancy’s CIC released its findings on park mobility during a period of COVID-19 restrictions. Chesapeake Conservancy’s Geospatial Data Scientist Kumar Mainali and Geospatial Technology Manager Emily Mills used Google’s COVID-19 Mobility Report to detect change in human mobility in parks in the top 25 United States metro areas by population. The July 2020 study found that 8 of 25 metro areas experienced significant increases in park visitation. Within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Washington, D.C., park visitation was up 93.99% and Baltimore was up 86.97%.

Empowering Water Data Monitors with Technology

Funded by the Pisces Foundation, Chesapeake Conservancy built a new app for the Water Data Collaborative to help existing water monitoring programs by providing a high-resolution look at the landscape conditions, which can then be compared to observed water quality trends. For groups or individuals that are looking for opportunities for restoration and conservation, this tool can also be used to target the most at-risk areas.


Chesapeake Conservancy serves as co-convener with NPS Chesapeake of the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, a coalition of organizations and agencies collaborating to conserve culturally and ecologically important landscapes to benefit people, economies and nature throughout the six-state Chesapeake Bay watershed. We are 68% of the way toward our goal of protecting an additional 2 million acres of land by 2025.
Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Publication Receives National Attention

Public Lands Alliance presented an honorable mention award to the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership for Marking Milestones: Progress in Conserving Lands in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The report is the most comprehensive survey of land conservation and funding in the watershed in a decade. The report is available at chesapeakeconservation.org.

2020 Success Stories

Chesapeake Conservation Partnership created a web-based microsite to share the growing number of conservation successes throughout the watershed.

Visit success.chesapeakeconservation.org to learn more.

Also in 2020, the CCP hosted four virtual sessions focusing on “Public Health, Green Spaces and Equity” and worked toward implementing steps from the partnership’s draft action plan.


NPS Chesapeake and Chesapeake Conservancy inspire people to get out and enjoy all that the Chesapeake region has to offer through their partnership website, FindYourChesapeake.com, and weekly e-newsletter, Trips and Tips. We know that when people fall in love with a place, they will work to help protect it. The website is tourism-focused and helps residents and visitors explore over 370 special places around the Chesapeake watershed, many at  Chesapeake Gateways sites and along the Chesapeake Trail.


Chesapeake Conservancy helps people connect with nature and the Chesapeake Bay through its wildlife webcams, which feature ospreys, peregrine falcons and great blue herons. The cams are a fascinating and addicting way to observe the wonders of nature. We are grateful for our partnerships with explore.org, the Crazy Osprey Family, Transamerica and the owner of the great blue heron rookery for the generosity that makes these webcams possible. Millions of viewers from all over the world watched the cams in 2020. The osprey and peregrine stories in particular are wonderful to share with our viewers as true conservation success stories. Both species faced extinction in the 1970s due to the effects of the pesticide DDT. Today they have rebounded in the Chesapeake thanks to the ban on DDT and the careful work of ornithologists and conservationists such as The Peregrine Fund. Their stories are ideal to highlight because they prove that we humans can turn things around while helping to connect people to the Chesapeake Bay.
While nothing beats the experience of seeing the beauty of the Chesapeake firsthand, we’ve created 14 virtual river tours along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail). Similar to Google Street View, the virtual tours can help you plan your next adventure. Take a virtual tour, scope out the access site you plan to use or just soak in the beauty from your screen with the perspective of a paddler.


In 2020, Chesapeake Conservancy launched our new podcast, Chesapeake Conversations, hosted by Joel Dunn. Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest and longest-running ecosystem restoration efforts in the world. Over the last 50 years, billions of dollars have been invested to restore the Bay, and the world is watching to see how the Chesapeake responds. Chesapeake Conversations takes an in-depth look at what’s working for the Chesapeake and what’s not, and features interviews with a diverse group of conservation leaders. Chesapeake Conversations is produced by Platform Media, LLC, with music by Scott McDaniel from Wild Echo Media. Special thanks to our partners and donors who make this series possible. Find us on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you download podcasts.


Since 2014, Chesapeake Conservancy’s annual Champions of the Chesapeake awards have recognized individuals and organizations from across the region for exemplary leadership and dedication to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake’s natural systems and cultural resources. In 2020, Chesapeake Conservancy took a different approach. Instead of a Chesapeake Conservancy committee choosing award recipients, the conservation community nominated conservation heroes deserving of the award within four categories: Lifetime Champion, Everyday Hero, Next Generation and Small Business. There were 19 inspiring conservation stewards and community leaders nominated, and more than 1,500 people voted during the selection process.
Lifetime Champion: Dennis Chestnut

Dennis Chestnut, a native Washingtonian and a lifetime resident of the Hillbrook neighborhood of Ward 7 in Southeast D.C., was awarded the Lifetime Champion award due to his commitment towards restoring the health of the Anacostia River, improving the natural resources located in his community and throughout Washington, and connecting the residents, schools, businesses and civic and community organizations to the area’s many outdoor resources and natural environment.

Next Generation: Anna Killius

Anna Killius, a policy analyst at the James River Association (JRA), received the Next Generation award due to her continued stewardship and protection of the James River. Anna has helped to secure bipartisan legislation that keeps coal ash out of rivers and cattle out of streams. She has also successfully advocated for bills that promote the implementation of living shorelines and against bills that would loosen Virginia’s oversight of water use and extraction.

Everyday Hero: Mariah Davis

Mariah Davis, policy and campaigns manager at the Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC), was awarded the Everyday Hero award. Mariah supports an incredible amount of work on environmental justice initiatives in the watershed. She is an advocate for community voices and authentic engagement with communities. Mariah’s dedication to her work has made and continues to make the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s restoration efforts more equitable, inclusive and just.

Small Business: River Rock Outfitter

Located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, River Rock Outfitter was selected for the Small Business award. River Rock Outfitter is committed not only to the community, but also to protecting water resources along the Rappahannock River. Owner April Peterson has hosted and supported countless events to educate and take action to protect waterways. River Rock Outfitter has sponsored and participated in many litter clean-ups, hosted and sponsored educational movie events, and even developed an annual music festival called “Rock the River” to build public awareness of the importance of protecting the Rappahannock River.

Sound stewardship of financial resources demonstrated by a clean audit

Accepted as a nonprofit partner in the 1% for the Planet network

Awarded 4-star rating from Charity Navigator


Our sincere appreciation to the individual, foundation and corporate donors who have made our work possible. We truly appreciate your generosity.

Real Estate

The J Kent McNew Family Foundation

Planned Giving

Mary and Charles Dankmeyer
Richard Scobey


Bunting Family Foundation
James G. Corckran, II
John C. Corckran, Jr.
Matthew Earl and Diane McBee
Farvue Foundation
John G. & Jean R. Gosnell Foundation, Inc.
Mt. Cuba Center
Roemer Foundation
Shared Earth Foundation
The Campbell Foundation
The Helena Foundation
The Merrill Family Foundation
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
Welfare Foundation


Bancroft Foundation
Blue Waters Foundation
Forever Maryland Foundation
Patagonia, Inc.
Virginia S. Warner Foundation


Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
Mary and Charles Dankmeyer
Randall Larrimore and Cathy Cutright
James M. and Margaret V. Stine Foundation


Anonymous (3)
Becky Anderson
Curtis Backus
Barbara Bass
Scott Beatty
Mark and Mary Belton
Thad and Renee Bench
Don and Vicky Birch
Ina Bond
Aaron Bowden
Mark and Vicky Collins
Kevin Cooke
Leslie Delagran and Mark McConnell
Bill Dickinson
Arthur Edwards
Elinor Farquhar
Richard L. Franyo
Paul Hagen
Jim and Victoria Handa
Kert Heinecke
Thomas Hunter
Joe and Martha Janney
Jay and Tara Joseph
Judy Larrimore
Lucie Lehmann
Robert Loarie
Laurence Manlove
Mariposa Fund
Joseph McCauley and Julia Herrick
Patrick McGeehin
Stephanie and Rob Meeks
Liza and Sky Morehouse
Barbara Moulton
John and Susan Neely
Origin Creek Energy LLC
Mark and Karen Perreault
Leonard and Anna Pfeiffer
Preservation Maryland
Bill and Donna Roberts
Lynne Rockenbauch
Samuel Rose
Rose Petroleum PLC
Deb and Don Scelza
Steven Schuh
Richard Scobey
Michael Sharp
Evie Sommers
John and Kimberly Thacker
The Bradley and Kathryn Callahan Family Foundation
Edward Tieke
Daniel Tinker
David and Laura Urban
Royall Victor
Virtual Running Club
Wander Project
Molly Ward
Alice and Hill Wellford

Great Blue Heron Club ($500-$999)

Anonymous (3)
David Anderson
Gary Anspach
Gray Benoist
Ann Bissell
C. Robert Bunch and Lilia D. Khakimova
Cho-Packer Giving Fund
Duncan and Christina Cocroft
Tom Colberg
Couser Family
Ed and Leslie Cronin
Kent and Meredith Damschroder
Melissa Ehrenreich
Robert and Janellen Frantz
Joseph Gill
Pamela Gregory
Verna Harrison and Bob Pelrine
Barbara Haupt
Page Hayhurst-Kiniry
Jonathan and Laurie Kigner
Kovitz Investment Group
Dale and Patricia Larrimore
Jim Lighthizer
Bruce and Kathy Lowry
Dennis W. Meadowcroft
David and Lisa Mills
Susan Moerschel
Damien Ossi
Mamie Parker
Carmen Perry
Margaret and Reed Perry
Leo Pound
Russ and Beckie Ray
Bill and Wendy Schickler
Nick and Annie Shreiber
Melissa and Peter Smith
Dexter Steis
Charles Stek
Robert and Sally Stobbart
Thomas Straehle
Parvin Titus
Matthew Trotta
David and Maria Vershel
Nancy Walters
David and Evelyn White
Mark Young and Rachel Carren

Eagle Club ($250-$499)

Scott and Kathy Allan
Mary Argleben
Bruce Armistead
Michael Avery
Susan Barnett
Renee Bench
Thad Bench II
Donna Biscieglia
Jim and Shirley Blackwell
Curtis Bohlen
Susan Borschel
Elizabeth Buck
Erica Bulatovic
David Castro
Jim Coffey
Larry Culleen and Nina Weisbroth
Eugene Cunningham
Bob Dane
Janice Davis
Leslie Delagran
Nick Dilks
Jonathan and Dotty Doherty
Sherry Dubester
Mary Clare Duffy
Joel Dunn
Oliver Ehrenreich
Devon and Matthew Ellis
Kathleen Helen Felmey
Paul Ferraro and Kristin Rowles
Whitney Fiore
Betty M. Garrand
Kyle P. German
Jane Gracie
Stacy Graven
John and Michele Griffin
Karl and Maureen Grizio
William Guyton
Ed and Bess Haile
Kimberly Hansen
Colin Harrington
David and Joan Hilgers
Matthew Hunley
Cacky Janssens
Constance Jarowey
Laura Kelm
William and Leslie Lahneman
Joseph Lahr
Rebecca Lawson
Jennifer Lighthizer
Steve and Ann Lindblom
Glennda and David Lockard
Marilyn A. Lockwood
Main Street America Group
Pamela Marks and Michael Mininsohn
Amy Meyer
Mark and Magda Westerhout Mobley
Sally Moulton
Keith O’Connor
Sarah Petit
James Reid and Elizabeth Reid
John and Barbara Reynolds
James and Janet Ross
Kurt and Leslie Schwoppe
John and Lisa Sherwood
Jimmy Slaughter
Doug and Lynn Smarte
Melissa Smith
Daniel Stack
Jim and Amy Stolarski
Edward Strohbehn and Heather Ross
Joan Barton Sundheim
Robin Vaughn
Stafford and Sue Warren
Robert Wheeler
Laura Wiggans
Dale Wilcox
Hsin Hsin Yang

Osprey Club ($100-$249)

Anonymous (9)
Patty Allen
Barbara Anderson
Christine Anderson
Sally Anderson
Rob and Elizabeth Aronson
Lyle Bailey
Elizabeth Barrett
Maureen Barrett
Susan Barron
Mai-Liis Bartling
Chris Baugher
Tim and Kathy Berghoff
Jason and Caryn Berstein
Gordon Binder and Michael Rawson
Cheryl Bishop
Carl Robert Brooks
David Brown and Anna Williams
Sandy Brown
Warren Brown
Jane Buch
Peter Bungay
Patricia Bursaw
Rebecca Byrd
Anna Capetanakis
Bob and Jona Capra
J. David and Anna Castle
William Cobb
Walter and Suzanne Cochran-Bond
Alicia Cramer
Mary Ann Cronin
Joshua Daskin
Gary Davis
Gary Deems
Paula A. Degen
D. Cameron DeHeer
Carla Dinowitz
Michele Doyel
Jeffrey Drill
Barbara Earley
Ben Ehrenreich
Susan Ehrenreich
Steve Elkinton
Dorry Emmer
Janet Evans
Michael Fach
Amanda Field
James Fortune
Samantha Gagnon
Sarah Gallen
Gerald Gallwas
Garden Club of Twenty, Inc.
Ellen Gardner
Linda Gaydos
David and Rebecca Genshaw
Carolyn Goddard
Cynthia Wagner Golliday
Bill Gourgey
Sari Graven
Jay Gronlund
Julie Hamiton
Chris and Meg Hankin
Garrett Hansen
Melinda and Terry Harris
Virginia Bice Hartman
Christine Hayes
Matthew Heil
Donald Hellmann
William Hendrickson
Terry Hickey
Stephen Higgins
Gregory Holobaugh
Mary Holthaus
Richard Hook
Carolyn and David Houck
Carol Husband
Sallie Jackson
James Jackson
Destry Jarvis
Janice John
Elizabeth G. Johnson
Melissa Johnston
Patricia Jonas
Mary Kelly
Phyllis Kilby
Betsy Kirkpatrick-Howat
John Knud-Hansen
Greg Koeln
Rangan Krishnamurthy
Steve Lafferty
William and Margaret Lahneman
Ruby S. Lehman
Gilbert Leidig
Christina Leijonhufvud
Karen Liese
John Light
Fred and Jean Lucas
Adele Madden
Michelle and Ken Madden
Kumar Mainali
Brian and Janalee Malikian
Joseph and Anne Maroon
Larry Matney
Michael and Phyllis McCauley
Elizabeth McCormick
Ben McDearmon and Julie Burns
Peter McGarvey
Robert McIntosh
Richard Mendenhall
Dean Merritt
Cyndy Carrington Miller
Mara Miller
Emily Mills and Danny Berghoff
Alan Mintz
Alison Moore
Kathy Morgan
Susan Morrill
David and Kimberly Morrow
Robert Newry
Jeff and Linda Norris
Mary Margaret Nousek
Lloyd E Oliver
Kent and Phoebe Palcanis
Cassandra Pallai
Steve and Polly Percy
Terry Pinkston
Alison Pitts
Ann Powers
Matthew Provost
Wesse Ranes
Joshua Rawitch
Judith M. Rhodes
Peter Rice
David Riherd and Nancy Betts
Craig and Joyce Riley
Brant Ringler
Charles and Patricia Robertson
Ruth Robinson
Letitia Robson
Barbara Rooney
Alan Saavedra
Douglas Sanford
Ellen Schall
Jay and Camilla Schwarz
Elaine Selby
Bob and Leah Shepherd
Robert Shields
Luke and Susan Shingledecker
Ben Shneiderman
Tom Shock
Richard Shrum
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
Robert Smythe
Lisa Spallitta
Rick and Jill Springer
Michael Stack
Jacqueline E. Stephenson
Lacey Stevens
Patrick Sullivan
Diana Sullivan
Ann and Eric Swanson
Linda Tatro
Lucius Taylor
Lynda Taylor
Bill and Linda Teare
The Carter-Minnemeyer Family
The Garay Family
The Godstrey Family
Lawrence Thompson
Daveyne Totten
Ted and Jeanne Trott
Craig Turner
Katherine Tyra
United Way of Delaware
Linda Valle
Amy Vaughn
Louise Wagner
Robert Waldman
Russell and Penny Wallace
Susan Wallace
Bill Walters
Diana Weatherby
Helene Weil
Jay Weitzel
Richard Welch
Harrison and Sue Wellford
John Wethern
Patty Widerman
Derek Wilkinson
Linda Williams
Sharee Williamson
Dave Wilson
Michael and Joyce Wilson
Linda Wright
David Wye
David Yang
Uri Yokel
Donna and Bob Zellers

Chesapeake Stewards Club
(Monthly Donors)

Barbara Anderson
Morgan Bench
Verna Harrison and Bob Pelrine
Christine Hayes
Matthew Heil
Matthew Hunley
Joe and Martha Janney
Lucie Lehmann
Michael and Phyllis McCauley
Reed Perry
Melissa and Peter Smith
Thomas Straehle

In-Kind Gifts

Beveridge & Diamond
Keith Chapman
Hogan Lovells
Mahan Rykiel Associates

Matching Gifts

Baird Foundation, Inc.
IBM Corporation
Main Street America Group
Patagonia, Inc.
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc
Union Privilege

Donation Honorees

Sam Anawalt
Nancy and Dave Balliet
Susan Blumenstock
Boh 2 and Barb Baltimore Falcons
Bonnie and Peter
Chesapeake Conservancy and Its Employees
Joel Dunn
Melissa Ehrenreich
Jamie Harms
Lawrence O. Hickey
Tim and Anne Hunt
Doug Krause
Jerry Kustich and Sharon Mutch
William and Leslie Lahneman
Randy Larrimore
Alberta E Leirzel
Chrysa Long and Jim Riordan
Marvel, our loyal companion
Johanna McCrehan
Chris O’Connor
Steve and Anne Parr 50th Wedding Anniversary
Kim Pins and Bill Moeller
Warrie and Jim Price
Sullivan and Shiloh Provost
John Reynolds
Sarah Sanford
Susan Shingledecker
The Ellis Family
The Gagnon Family
The Gorinsons
The Hunleys
The Parr Carr Family
The Plotts
The Skeens
Richard B. Thompson
Will, Catherine and Bennett Wallace
Sen. John W. Warner

In Memoriam Honorees

Frances Smith Armstrong
Frank Brooks
Charlie Lee Byrd
William Carleton
Judith Cassello
James Mooar Clifford, Jr.
Catherine Lynn Creech
Christopher Jeffers Forzano
Albert Frankel
Carol Hamilton
Michael Hethmon
Bernard Jonas
Allan Kover
John Maounis
Patrick McCauley
Peggy McCrystal
Thelma I. W. Moerschel
Harold G and Frances R Moulton
Nancy R. Oliver
David Owen, Sr.
Jim Patten
Daniel C. Roper, IV
Roy Ruth
David Selby
The two blue heron babies that perished
Sharon Thomas
Preston Long Tkacz
Alice and Ray Von Saunder
Tom Williams
Wynne Williams

Partners and Clients

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation-Pennsylvania
Chesapeake Bay Trust
Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County
Ecosystem Investment Partners
Harford Land Trust
Hillsdale Fund
James River Association
Land Trust Alliance
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Lower Shore Land Trust
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Northern Virginia Conservation Trust
Scenic Rivers Land Trust
The Conservation Fund
Valleys Planning Council
Virginia Environmental Endowment
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Wildlife Management Institute

About the Chesapeake Conservancy

Chesapeake Conservancy is a nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland. We are conservation entrepreneurs. We believe that the Chesapeake is a national treasure that should be accessible for everyone and a place where wildlife can thrive. We use technology to enhance the pace and quality of conservation, and we help build parks, trails, and public access sites. We have embraced the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Gateways and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail as an inspiration and framework for our work in the region. The Conservancy works in close partnership with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as other federal, state, and local agencies, private foundations, and corporations to advance conservation.


Contact Info

716 Giddings Avenue Suite 42
Annapolis, MD 21401
(443) 321 3610
[email protected]

    Photo Credits:

    Opening Image: “Chesapeake Conservancy staff at Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis” Yazan Hasan

    Diversity Statement: “Small Museum Association Conference” Lindsey Baker

    Chair and President: Jody Couser

    Testimonials: Courtesy Photos, “Dolphins” Jody Couser

    Organizational Achievements: “Brown Pelican Rookery” Michael Weiss

    Your Gift Today: “Three Kayakers” Yazan Hasan

    2020 Highlights:

    “Executive Vice President of Programs and NPS Chesapeake Bay Office Superintendent” Jody Couser, “Taylors Trail”  Dan Murphy/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Making Restoration Local”  Adrienne Gemberling, “New Park Project in Seaford, DE” Trisha Newcomer/City of Seaford, “Sandy Point State Park” Michael Weiss,  “Culpeper County, VA” Lewis Cressell, “Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park” Ted Eytan, “Osprey” Michael Weiss, “U.S. Capitol” Amanda Walker, “Falling Waters, WV” Jennifer Grimes, “Park Visit” Elvert Barnes, “Fish” Melanie Fischer/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Water Quality Monitoring” Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program and “Target Store solar panels” Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program

    Virtual Connections: “Peregrine Falcon” Peter Turcik

    Champions of the Chesapeake: Courtesy Photos

    Closing Photo Montage: “Cypress” Michael Weiss, “Boy at Beach” Sarah Ross, “Tangier Island Virtual Tour” Ryan Abrahamsen, “Heron” Michael Weiss, “Skating” Rob Wood and “Crab Feast” Jennifer Yin