National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) is the lead federal agency in administering the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, and the Chesapeake Conservancy is its principal partner for trail development. The NPS is also a federal partner in the watershed-wide Chesapeake Bay Program. In all these areas, the NPS connects people with the special places and stories of the Chesapeake, helps preserve those special places and stories, and fosters stewardship of the Chesapeake.
The Feasibility Study completed by the National Park Service led to designation of the John Smith Chesapeake Trail in 2006. Currently, the Park Service is implementing its comprehensive management plan for the trail. NPS works closely with other federal agencies, particularly the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency; with state and local agencies in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia; Native American communities; businesses; and with non-governmental organizations, such as The Conservation Fund, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and National Geographic, for its planning efforts.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
The Chesapeake Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have a cooperative agreement to work together on projects that protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Conservancy provides technical assistance and public outreach services to promote the conservation of ecosystems, including the protection and restoration of critical fish and wildlife habitat along the great rivers of the Chesapeake. Under the agreement the two organizations work together to create and provide technical and communications services to engage the public and expand the potential for conservation and restoration of significant ecological and cultural resources in the Chesapeake Bay and along the rivers. Chesapeake Conservancy is also engaging other partners in this work, including the National Geographic Society. The work supports Executive Order #13508, which called for “Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.”
We work with state environmental and natural resource agencies in all the watershed states on specific projects, including efforts to connect the historic and ecologic components of the John Smith Chesapeake Trail and to secure the conservation of special places. In some cases, such as along the Nanticoke River, we are a part of formal partnership agreements with the States to work collaboratively together to identify and implement best practices for the protection, restoration and enhancement of the watershed’s natural, historic and cultural resources. In the cases of our community-based conservation initiatives along the James River and the Susquehanna River, state agencies have been involved in the stakeholder engagement process and are core partners in the implementation process. And yet in other cases, such as along the Potomac River, we are working with the States to create management plans to enhance the visibility and visitor experience along the John Smith Chesapeake Trail.
We work with countless community partners on projects including implementing the John Smith Chesapeake Trail, carrying out river-corridor land conservation initiatives, increasing public access to the Trail, interpreting the region’s ecology, history, and culture, and innovating new ways to prioritize and inspire conservation.