January 10, 2017
The Land Trust Alliance recently launched the Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative (the Initiative) to deploy an integrated and innovative approach to permanent land protection, stewardship, community engagement, partners and public policy that will preserve or enhance water quality across the 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The vision for the Initiative is a healthy watershed that uses permanent land protection and stewardship to ensure clean water for future generations. Land trusts and their partners across the watershed have the opportunity to play a leadership role in protecting and improving water quality in their communities, and while many are already doing so, more could be accomplished if opportunities exist to grow their partnerships, skills and capacity.
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Land Trust Assessment: Accelerating Land Conservation to Protect and Improve Water Quality, a study commissioned by the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and conducted by the Alliance with Long Haul Conservation Advisors, identified opportunities for water quality improvements through permanent land conservation programs. Based on the findings, the Initiative calls for building robust and effective partnerships — with land trusts, watershed groups, state land trust associations and other conservation and civic partners — to support and expand high-leverage, innovative programs and projects.
The Initiative will also grow the clout of the land conservation movement in the Chesapeake Bay policy arena, notably within the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Alliance has hired Jennifer Miller Herzog, former Maryland grassroots manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to manage the program. See www.lta.org/chesapeake-bay.
Source: Land Trust Alliance, By Rose Jenkins