Protecting the Chesapeake Experience
From our founding, we have embraced the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail as an inspiration and framework for our work in the region. We work to achieve a healthier Chesapeake Bay watershed where fish and wildlife thrive, and everyone enjoys healthy waters, abundant forests and wetlands, and open spaces as immortalized in Captain John Smith’s voyage of exploration.
Sediment and nutrient pollution, development, infrastructure expansion, and climate change threaten the unique ecological, scenic, recreational, and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Trail. The Chesapeake Conservancy works closely with state and federal agencies, and other non-governmental partners, to protect these unique assets.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Photo: Chesapeake Conservancy
In December, Congress included nearly $11 million for land conservation and $2 million for public access in the Omnibus Spending Bill. Funds will protect 2,100 acres of historically and ecologically valuable land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The spending bill also reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund through 2018, which protects land and water for the benefit of all Americans.
Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails
Photo: Peter Turcik
The National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails program is the most important federal program supporting public access in the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Conservancy is fighting to protect funding so there are more places to access and learn about this national treasure in our own backyard.
Program Open Space
Photo: Chesapeake Bay Program
Maryland’s land preservation programs have protected over 865,000 acres, but have sustained significant cuts over the past several years in the State’s budgets. Along with many other partners, the Conservancy is working to defend these vital funds in order to protect state and local parks, playgrounds and farms.
James River Powerlines
Photo: Gayle Trautman
The Conservancy has joined other conservation organizations as a Consulting Party in the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Review Process for the proposed transmission lines over the lower James River. The transmission lines would threaten the scenic viewshed from historic Jamestowne.
Photo: Hill Wellford
Despite collaborative conservation efforts, a pristine stretch of high cliffs along the Rappahannock River have been rezoned by the Richmond County Board of Supervisors to allow for a new golf resort. The development will imperil one of the largest concentration of bald eagles on the East Coast.
Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary
Photo: Peter Turcik
The Conservancy has joined other conservation organizations to designate Mallows Bay-Potomac River as the first ever National marine Sanctuary. Mallows Bay on the Potomac River, just 30 miles south of Washington, D.C., is home to the largest visible collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. NOAA has released a Draft Environmental Impact Study and wants to hear from you.