Changes to Mid-Atlantic Forests as Climate Warms

The majority of the Chesapeake watershed is forested. And most of these Chesapeake forests were recently assessed for their vulnerability to projected climate change. The Mid-Atlantic Region Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis is the work of dozens of scientists and forest managers who evaluated climate change scenarios and influences on forests in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and parts of Maryland. Published by the USDA Forest Service, the 294 page report covers a wide range of findings and addresses implications for forest management and ...

Read More


Three more Chesapeake Land Trusts Accredited

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission recently announced the latest round of newly accredited land trusts -- and three Chesapeake watershed organizations are on the list. The Capitol Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) serves the City of Richmond and the Counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent, and Charles City in Virginia. The Conservancy works to "conserve and protect the natural and historic land and water resources of Virginia’s Capital Region for the benefit of current and future generations." CRLC holds or co-holds easements ...

Read More


A City Sets Out a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights

About 24 percent -- or over 4 million -- of the Chesapeake watershed's 18 million residents are children under the age of 18. They are the region's future. And conservation's future. Most children (and adults) -- more than 70 percent of the population -- live within urban areas. We know the children of today spend less time outdoors than those growing up in past decades. This is probably even more true of children living in urban communities. How do we ensure these kids are provided with a base of protected lands that supports their values? Perhaps it's grounded in ...

Read More


New 4,500 Acre Conservation Easement in Albemarle Co.

Not far from Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, the James C. Justice Companies, Inc. own 4,500 acres in Albemarle County, Virginia. Interestingly, the owner of the companies is West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Justice has now donated a conservation easement on the 4,500 acres to the Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority. The easement was officially recorded in July. This brings the total acreage under conservation easements in Albemarle County to over 100,000 acres, about a fifth of the county. Charlottesville Tomorrow reports the easement allows contin...

Read More


New Tools for Communicating Conservation Messages

Achieving conservation goals requires continued support for public land protection programs, increased private sector investment, and other new sources of conservation financing. All of these depend on an engaged public, interested landowners, dedicated conservationists, and committed public officials. How can all of us most effectively communicate the value of conserving land in ways that bolster conservation efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed? To answer this, the Partnership is releasing a new a Narrative Toolkit: Tools for Communicating Conservation ...

Read More


Duck Stamps Help Protect 2,614 Acres at Blackwater

There are many opportunities available for each of us as to help conserve fish and wildlife and the habitats on which they depend for survival. We can plant native species in a yard and garden and contribute to our favorite land conservation organizations. Or, one of the most efficient and effective actions anyone can take is to buy a federal Duck Stamp.  Modest $25 personal investments add up to generate tens of millions of dollars each year, with 98% of the proceeds going directly to conserve wetland habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds at national ...

Read More


Delaware’s Reaches New Levels of Farmland Preservation

Delaware Governor John Carney recently announced the largest ever round of farms permanently protected through the state's Agricultural Lands Preservation Program. The 2019 grant round will purchase development rights on 111 farms totaling 9,382 acres. The majority of these are within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. With these conservation easements, more than 134,000 acres of farmland are permanently protected. This means "we have successfully preserved 25 percent of Delaware’s farmland,” said Governor Carney. In 2019, Delaware more than doubled funding ...

Read More


Celebrating Fones Cliffs & Conservation Stamina

Last Friday, Joe McCauley installed a ceremonial US Fish and Wildlife Service boundary marker on a 252 acre property at Fones Cliffs. It was the culmination of more than a decade of Joe's persistence. Protecting this vital piece of Fones Cliffs--a spectacular cultural, scenic and ecological resource above the Rappahannock River--was the work of many, like a lot of conservation projects. In this case, The Conservation Fund acquired the property, which had long been threatened with development, and transferred it to become part of the Rappahannock River Valley National ...

Read More


Food Forests: A Growing Urban-Conservation Connection?

Food forests are getting increased attention in cities around the nation as one strategy for addressing food deserts -- neighborhoods lacking access to grocery stores and healthy food. What is a food forest? Technically, an integrated community of trees and plants that produces edible products. But the intent is to engage human communities to plan, plant and harvest the produce. In 2018, over 2,800 pounds of artichokes, berries, nuts and vegetables were harvested from Seattle's six year old, Beacon Food Forest by neighbors coming to take what they needed. And the ...

Read More


Signs of Hope (Part 2)

In part two of our "signs of hope" Lightning Updates, we share more news from this spring. Over the past few months, an estimated two to three billion (yes, billion) birds migrated into and through the United States following long-traveled routes. The Chesapeake Bay watershed sits along the "Atlantic flyway" and supports large numbers of these birds during migration. Few migratory species in north America are more spectacular than the many types of warblers -- tiny birds decked out in the flashiest of breeding plumage in spring. How tiny? Most species are only 4-5 ...

Read More