What Happens on Land Ends Up in the Water
The Land Trust Alliance and the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network (CBFN) 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 Chesapeake Bay region is home to 17 million people — and the way we care for the land will help or hurt our waters. Everyone has a role to play in keeping local rivers and streams a healthy place to drink, swim, fish and paddle.
Land trusts are in a powerful position to improve the health of our waters. Your landowner relationships, a connection to private land, and restoration and stewardship capacity, allow you to deliver the benefits of clean water in places and ways that no one else can.
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 CBFN and conducted by the Alliance with Long Haul Conservation Advisors, identified opportunities for water quality improvements through permanent land conservation programs.
The Initiative encourages partnerships between land trusts, watershed groups, local governments, and others. It brings additional financial and capacity resources to accelerate good work already underway and better prioritize new conservation and stewardship for water. And it works to improve the context in which land trusts operate — through policy, communications, science, and more — so that land trusts have better tools to do more for clean water.
Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative Grants: Is Your Land Trust Eligible?
The Land and Water Initiative administers an annual grant program to support projects that will accelerate land conservation and stewardship to protect and restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and is currently focused on these initial watersheds.
We are no longer accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for the 2016-17 grant program, but we anticipate reopening our grant process for 2017-18 in late 2017. We will be seeking applications from eligible organizations undertaking projects that positively impact water quality and meet the stated goals and interests of the Initiative’s grant-making program. Please look for announcements on the program via email or posted on this webpage.
The full request for LOIs (now closed) is available here for your information. You can also watch the webinar for interested applicants that we hosted in November 2016 here.
To learn more about the Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative grant program, watch this webinar recording (slides available).
If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Miller Herzog, Chesapeake program manager, by email or call 406-580-6410.
Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative Advisory Council
The Advisory Council brings together state and regional thought-leaders and practitioners in the land trust community, as well as the broader field of land conservation and water quality, to advise and inform the development and implementation of the Initiative.
Council members serve as sources of information and support for the Initiative’s two major program areas: land conservation and stewardship, and policy and communications.
Meet the fall 2016 council members:
- Jim Baird, Mid-Atlantic director, American Farmland Trust
- Nicole Faraguna, director of outreach and education, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
- Bill Leahy, executive director, Maryland Environmental Trust
- Andy Loza, executive director, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
- Kristin Saunders, Chesapeake Bay cross-program coordinator, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Chesapeake Bay Program
- Ellen Shepard, executive director, Virginia United Land Trusts
- Peggy Stevens, chair, Virginia United Land Trusts and executive director, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust
- John Turgeon, conservation easement program manager and southern region easement planner, Maryland Environmental Trust
- Al Todd, executive director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
For more information, please contact Jennifer Miller Herzog, Chesapeake program manager, by email or call 406-580-6410.