Originally developed to identify high priority conservation areas along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, these techniques and datasets have numerous potential applications for many other land use decision-making and planning purposes. The Conservancy is now working to develop online decision support tools that make these datasets, as well as complex analyses using them, available to partner organizations without any barriers to entry, such as needing internal GIS experience or staff.
There are many paths to advance conservation interests here in the Chesapeake Bay Region, from protecting critical habitats and areas of cultural importance to focusing on the land’s impact on water quality. Coordinated efforts by the Bay State signatories have been underway for years to restore the Chesapeake Bay using a combination of incentive-based and voluntary water quality best management practices, including the conservation of over 1.24 million acres between 2000 and 2009.
Achieving coordinated large landscape conservation as the prospects for public funding for land conservation diminish across the region will require innovative solutions that maintain an effective, well rounded Bay protection and restoration platform that incorporates the multitude of benefits land conservation provides.
To accomplish this objective, the Chesapeake Conservancy has established the Conservation Innovation Center to develop new partnerships, products, and processes that will allow us to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness with which we target land and access areas for conservation. We are creating partnerships with Colleges and Universities throughout the watershed to leverage cutting edge-research and facilities for our work. We are researching and advancing new methods of identifying high-priority landscapes throughout the watershed that provide the best opportunities for conservation and restoration. We are using new technology and mobile platforms to teach watershed residents and visitors about the landscapes around them while engaging them in our conservation efforts. By looking at how other industries are using innovative methods to advance their respective fields, Chesapeake Conservancy is able to adapt the most promising tools and techniques to advance the our mission and the conservation movement as a whole.
In addition to the fact sheets above, more information on the Conservation Innovation Center and our work is available at the following pages: