Bipartisan Leaders Pledge to Save Land & Water Conservation Fund

Last week, members of Congress from the House and Senate gathered at the U.S. Capitol with conservationists and outdoor recreation leaders to launch a 100 day push to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (#SaveLWCF) before it expires. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, supported by a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalties, has long been regarded as the nation's most important program for supporting conservation and recreation. LWCF enables conservation of national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, Civil War battlefields, state and ...

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Appeals Court Halts Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia

On Thursday, June 21, a three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request for a stay of construction of portions of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia. The 303 mile Mountain Valley Pipeline is planned for transporting natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale production through West Virginia and Virginia, crossing over 500 streams and the Appalachian Mountains. A coalition of conservation organizations is challenging a permit issued for the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act. With the stay, ...

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Development

Another 4.5 million people are expected to live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by 2050. Where will these additional people live? How will that affect, or be affected by, land conservation efforts? This map projects where and how much development will occur between now and 2050. This map projects where and how much development will occur between now and 2050 per HUC 12 subwatershed. Today over 18 million people call the Bay watershed home. By 2050, the population will likely increase to 22.5 million. Based on historic trends, most of these people are expected to live ...

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Farmland Preservation

Preserving farmland to support working farms and food supply has long been a focus of conservation efforts in many portions of the Chesapeake watershed. And those efforts have been remarkably successful. For example, since 1989 the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program has protected more than 500,000 acres on over 4,700 farms. Where is the capacity to support future farmland conservation? How is it concentrated? What does this suggest about where future farmland protection might be most likely or most effective? This map illustrates where ...

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Focal Areas

Where are the existing focal areas of conservation work within the Chesapeake watershed? In other words, where are the landscapes that already have an on-going recognized, dedicated effort to conserve additional lands? This map illustrates landscapes within the Chesapeake watershed are the focus of current large-scale collaborative conservation efforts. They have the following characteristics: They are fairly large and iconic in their own right (i.e. multijurisdictional, at least at the county level; recognizable and known as a landscape unit; reflecting multiple ...

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Inundation

A changing climate can have a wide range of impacts on the Chesapeake landscape. Among them are inundation and flooding associated with long-term sea level rise, changing rainfall regimes, and the impacts of major storms. In 2003, storm surge from Hurricane Isabel caused $1.2 billion (2017 USD) in damage in Maryland and the District of Columbia alone. Tropical Storm Lee created extensive flooding along the Susquehanna in 2011. Portions of lowlying cities like Norfolk and Annapolis now flood on a regular basis. Projected sea level rise will have substantial impacts to ...

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Land Trusts

The land trust community has been protecting land for multiple values for decades. Today, some 100 regional, state, and local land trusts operate in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, collectively protecting more than 1.8 million acres of land. Many land trusts have significant capacity to protect more important lands in the future. The additional capacity of strategic, national land conservation partners can help accelerate conservation in areas of shared interest. How can we get a picture of where regional and local land trust capacity is currently concentrated in ...

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Energy Infrastructure

Energy is a vital input to supporting our way of life. Yet, energy production and transmission also have the potential to adversely impact values we treasure. Harmonizing our needs with our values requires a solid understanding of both conservation goals and existing and proposed energy infrastructure. The purpose of this map is to give a comprehensive overview of the energy resources and activity in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and present this complex data in a coherent way. The map depicts known data related to energy production and infrastructure. Creating the map ...

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Reimagining the Future of Fort Monroe

What's one of the biggest historic redevelopment efforts in the Chesapeake watershed? How does its potential illustrate all the connections between urban areas, public access and land conservation? Take a look at what's happening at Fort Monroe. In 2011 President Barack Obama used the 1906 Antiquities Act to proclaim over half of the 561 site as Fort Monroe National Monument, making it part of the National Park System. Fort Monroe, one of the 19th century coastal defenses within the Chesapeake Bay, is the largest masonry fort in the nation with a rich and multifaceted ...

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Launching the Find Your Chesapeake GeoTour®

Landscape conservation requires ... people who know and care about special places, of course! This past Saturday, the National Park Service, Chesapeake Conservancy and Susquehanna Heritage welcomed over 150 geocachers to launch the Find Your Chesapeake GeoTour®. The GeoTour® complements the partnership website FindYourChesapeake.com and takes adventurers to sixty Chesapeake places to search for and locate specially marked containers with trinkets and code words inside. A participant earns a unique geocoin after recording 20 place-specific code words in the Find Your ...

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