Our Goal

Protect the treasured landscapes of our collective heritage from development that would alter the scenery and character that conveys their importance — along with our designated trails and scenic rivers and byways, at our parks, and throughout our state and national heritage areas, valued cultural landscapes and historic districts.

The Chesapeake landscape is rich with small and large places of outstanding significance to communities and our nation. Some are formally designated, like byways, scenic rivers, trails on land and water, parks, historic districts and heritage areas. Think of the Appalachian Trail and Journey Through Hallowed Ground. Others may simply be broadly recognized, like certain scenic vistas or indigenous, historic or cultural landscapes — Shenandoah Valley or Lancaster County come to mind. But all support tourism, the economy and our cultural identity. They are what identifies this region as unique and make our communities special. Yet, many special places face significant development pressure and risk being lost. Conserving these places for this and future generations is vital.

Where We Stand

Our mapping identifies 25,223,598 acres of land associated with designated areas, about 62% of the Chesapeake watershed. 8,066,588 acres (32%) of this land is permanently conserved.

We anticipate these numbers changing as new data depicting resource values associated with designated areas becomes available. Note that important heritage lands overlap substantially with all other conservation goals.

Explore the web map here.