View our program online and download our conference app here!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Microplastics and Trash: A Local Look at a Regional Issue
Presented by: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Choose Clean Water Coalition
12:00 - 4:00 pm (Registration opens at 11:00 am and lunch is included)
This ForumPlus will present the state of the science, status, prevalence, and human health impacts of plastics and microplastics pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, share case studies from within the Chesapeake Bay watershed on approaches for cleaning up plastic and microplastic pollution, and initiate dialogue among agencies, non-profits, businesses, and other groups on complementary strategies and efforts to reduce, remove, and eliminate plastics and microplastics within their shared geographies.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

8:00 am
Registration and Breakfast Opens

9:00-9:45 am
Welcome to the 10th Annual Choose Clean Water Conference!
Chanté Coleman, director Choose Clean Water Coalition, Director Rudolph Chow, Baltimore City
Keynote Speaker: Chad Brown, Soul River

10:00-11:45 am
90 minute Workshops and 45 minute Sessions

10:00-10:45 am Session: Restoration and Demonstration at Roundabout Meadows Farm
Celia Vuocolo, Piedmont Environmental Council, Julie Bolthouse, Piedmont Environmental Council

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) has been working to restore water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve farm productivity of our 141-acre Roundabout Meadows property at historic Gilbert’s Corner in Loudoun County, VA. Located in one of the fastest growing counties in the country, Roundabout Meadows acts as a gateway to the rural piedmont and is one of PEC’s top community engagement tools. Learn how PEC is using these land restoration and farm practices as an outreach and demonstration tool to educate an increasingly suburban population on local conservation issues. This session will also feature successful results from a four year water quality study on the property’s stream exclusion fencing project, and an overview of our new community vegetable farm.

10:00-10:45 am Session: A Drinking Water Guide for Advocacy and Outreach
Katherine Baer, River Network

This interactive workshop will introduce and explain how participants can use a new River Network online resource, the Drinking Water Guide: A Resource for Advocates that reflects the increasing intersection of affordability, equity, and environmental quality highlighted by drinking water crises. River Network worked with an advisory committee, consultants and partners to develop a layperson-friendly drinking water guide including components relating to source water, treatment, funding, safety, sustainability and policy frameworks with a focus on equity and community engagement. This workshop will provide an introduction and overview of the guide, and time to dive deeper into select topics. Practices, and build strong coalitions in underserved communities to improve the quality of life in the coal.

11:00-11:45 am Session: Do You Have the Right to a Healthy Environment?
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, Maryland Environmental Health Network, Nina Beth Cardin

We need big ideas to building relevant protections for breathable air, clean water and a healthy environment for all Marylanders for generations to come. As the latticework of federal protection is threatened by rollbacks, reversals and other restraints, Maryland will no longer be able to count on preemptive action and must begin to build its own state level defenses.

11:00-11:45 am Session: Community Partnerships Boost RiverWise Stormwater BMPs
Amy Hagerdon, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

The RiverWise Communities program encompasses two branches, Schools and Congregations. This presentation aims to highlight the connections and partnerships between of stormwater, schools, art, faith-based communities, and food justice. The audience will participate in a cognitive mapping exercise focused on expressing their connection to why they care about their local resource.

10:00-11:45 Workshop: Elevating Conversations for Women Leaders
Kate Fritz, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Kacey Wetzel, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Abbi Huntzinger, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Molly Brown, Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Chante Coleman, Choose Clean Water Coalition, Kristin Reilly, Choose Clean Water Coalition

Women often face a unique set of challenges when it comes to accomplishing their personal and professional goals - the Chesapeake world is no exception. In order to begin to overcome these barriers, current and emerging women leaders must 􀂡rst look within to identify their strengths and weaknesses, learn skills that will help them grow, and begin to create and build their network or ‘squad’. Attendees will learn about themselves and begin to build meaningful relationships with each other through a series of skill building exercises that are designed to be the beginning of a conversation that we all should be having more often.

10:00-11:45 Workshop: Break out of your inner circle: Expand your impact with Ally Acquisition
Meisha Thigpen, Marketing for Change, Karen Ong, Marketing for Change

Echo chambers, bubbles, choirs. Whatever you call your inner circle, it's comfortable territory -- but speaking only to true believers limits your universe of support. How can you bring new people to the cause? Join Marketing for Change to learn the basics of Ally Acquisition. Marketing for Change, which specializes in environmental and public health causes, will teach you to uncover the social narrative around your issue and identify new ways to frame key messages to expand your circles of influence.

10:00-11:45 Workshop: How to Talk About Climate Catastrophe
Eliza Cava, Audubon Naturalist Society, David Flores, Center for Progressive Reform, Mariah Davis, Choose Clean Water Coalition

The Paris Agreement is burning. Carbon is over 400ppm. We’ll pass 1.5*C warming in just 10-30 years. This year’s extraordinary storms will become ordinary, and Bay communities are already drowning. How do you sit through another meeting when THIS IS AN EMERGENCY? Is public policy ready to handle this? Is the Coalition? Are you? Join us for facilitated sharing and discussion of how we all are thinking about and working on climate change in the context of water, environmental justice, public health, and in our own mental health and lives. We will end by work-shopping recommendations for the Coalition.

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Lunch Plenary

STORY SLAM: 10 Years of the Choose Clean Water Coalition

1:00 pm-1:45 pm
45 minute Sessions

Session: Stream to Tap: Powerful Coalitions through Addressing Lead in Water
Stephanie Wein, PennEnvironment

When it comes to water, it's what comes out of the tap that's on people's minds, which means addressing the threats posed by lead in drinking water. Tackling this public health crisis can be an entry-point for educating new constituencies about water quality, building coalitions, and organizing from the tap backwards to tell a larger story about protecting water quality from stream to tap. PennEnvironment will use their experience passing municipal legislation reducing lead in schools’ drinking water as a case study for, building relationships with nontraditional partners and organizing a coalition of diverse stakeholders to keep our children and communities safe.

Session: Employing a Conservation Canine in Clean Water Work
Carol Parenzan, Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association

Learn about the clean-water work of conservation canine “Little Keeper” Susquehanna (Sussey), a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. In addition to being trained by Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper and environmental engineer Carol Parenzan to detect raw influent (sewage) in the watershed with his nose, Sussey is the “spokesdog” for the Waterkeeper Alliance-licensed nonprofit organization, is partnering with a local university on a poop-topower dog waste biogas project, has a far-reaching social media following, has trained with prisoners, and attracts crowds at community events with his four white paws and pink nose. Is there a conservation canine in your organization’s future?

Session: Improving Environmental Justice Considerations in Governmental Decision Making
Jon Mueller, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Several states within the Bay region have environmental justice policies. There are few laws or regulations requiring that governmental agencies consider environmental justice issues in their permitting and regulatory decisions. Recent work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Baltimore Sewer Consent Decree, and Maryland’s development of Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator Reasonably Available Control Technology standards for Nitrogen Oxides highlight the difficulty of requiring governmental agencies to appropriately consider environmental justice concerns in their permitting decisions. This session will provide a brief history of EJ in the United States, an overview of local policies and laws and discuss three case studies concerning permitting and regulatory decisions that implicate environmental justice issues.

Session: The Faithful Fight for Clean
Cassandra Carmichael, National Religious Partnership for the Environment

In this workshop, participants will learn more about how a broad spectrum of the faith community has engaged on protecting clean water at the local and national levels. Several case studies--from local engagement to national advocacy efforts--will be presented as a way to showcase the religious community's activities. In addition, workshop participants will explore why the faith community has worked to protect clean water and what additional needs exist for further engagement.

Session: Environmental Impact Bonds: Lessons from the Chesapeake Bay
Gauri Gadgil, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Stormwater is the only major source of nitrogen pollution still increasing in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Come learn how CBF has been introducing local Bay jurisdictions to a new way of financing green infrastructure for stormwater management, called "impact investment"—and its additional benefits, such as creating local sustainable jobs and more healthy, vibrant communities.

2:30 pm-5:30pm

Field Trips

Historic Flooding in a River Valley
Chesapeake Stormwater Network, Howard Eco Works, Clean Water Action

Tour the historic district of Ellicott City while learning about how the town has lived through floods throughout the centuries. Known for experiencing two 1000 year floods in two years, there are many proposals for how the town will survive into the next century.

Preventive Healthcare by Healing the Environment
Blue Water Baltimore, Medstar Harbor Hospital and Plisko Sustainable Solutions

Join us as we tour one of the greenest healthcare campuses in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed! MedStar Harbor Hospital has just completed installing 14 different green infrastructure practices that treat five acres of impervious surface and over 5 million gallons of stormwater runoff per year, which used to drain directly into the adjacent Patapsco River. To bridge the relationship between healing and nature, the hospital also installed an expansive healing garden on their waterfront lawn. Come learn from the hospital Green Team and the project design team how we are using the project to educate staff, patients, visitors, and the local community about the direct links between environmental and public health.

Susquehanna Flyover: Experience the Mother of the Bay from the Sky

Join volunteer SouthWings pilots and staff from Susquehanna Heritage on a guided aerial tour of the Susquehanna River and its power generation facilities to learn more about river history and recreation, land conservation, and connectivity between the Susquehanna, the Bay, and the surrounding watershed. While aboard, consider how your organization may use aviation as a tool to highlight your priority issues from the air and influence environmental decision making.

Lower Lower Stony Run Stream Restoration
Baltimore City Department of Public Works

Lower Lower Stony Run is Stream Restoration project to improve the water quality in Jones Fall Watershed in Baltimore City. Lower Lower Stony Run was a severely impacted urban stream and the goal of restoration was to reduce TMDL into Jones Falls watershed by up to 80 percent.

Healthy Harbor EcoTour
Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore

The Healthy Harbor EcoTour is an hour-long walking tour that showcases four urban clean water restoration projects installed along Baltimore’s waterfront. Going from the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, we’ll visit the National Aquarium’s floating wetlands, a Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership oyster garden, the Pierce’s Park rain garden, and Waterfront Partnership’s Mr. Trash Wheel. The tour includes information on each of these projects and how they fit into the broader context of efforts to restore the Baltimore Harbor.

Masonville Cove: Restoration, Access, Community and Change
National Aquarium

Come explore the community driven wildlife revolution happening in South Baltimore’s Baybrooke community. What began as the restoration of an abandoned and neglected parcel of land in the Middle Branch is now in its tenth year of wildlife habitat and community engagement. Masonville Cove itself includes 54 acres of cleaned-up wetlands, nature trails, a protected bird sanctuary and a trash wheel. Travel with us from the Cove to the local parks and schools in the community that have been an integral part of the collaboration, and see the work the community has lead in their open spaces.

Historic Flooding in a River Valley
Chesapeake Stormwater Network, Howard Eco Works, Clean Water Action

Tour the historic district of Ellicott City while learning about how the town has lived through floods throughout the centuries. Known for experiencing two 1000 year floods in two years, there are many proposals for how the town will survive into the next century.

SOLD OUT! Chesapeake Oyster Alliance: 10 Billion Oysters by 2025
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Did you know that a single, healthy adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day? Come learn about the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance and our goal to plant 10 billion new oysters in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. Over 45 different regional partners are working on this ambitious goal that will help accelerate oyster recovery and improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. We will share with participants the opportunities and challenges of coordinating a coalition of diverse partners and also describe our current efforts related to advancing oyster policy, restoration, outreach and science. Participants will enjoy a boat trip where they will experience firsthand oyster restoration efforts here in Baltimore by planting baby oysters at Ft. Carroll with Baltimore Program Manager, Carmera Thomas

SOLD OUT! Guinness Brewing Company Stormwater Tour and Tasting
In 2018, Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Gate House opened its doors just outside of Baltimore City. On this tour you will learn more about the site, which was refurbished from an old distillery, and includes stormwater retrofits around the property. The tour will end with you a free pour and other drinks available for purchase after. (MUST BE 21 TO ATTEND)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

7:30 am - 8:30 am
Restorative Yoga (bring your own mat)

8:00 am
Breakfast Roundtables
Join us for an ad-hoc breakfast roundtable or take some time to network with other conference attendees before the day gets started. You can find a list of roundtables by registration.

9:00-9:45 am
Looking to 2020
Josh McNeil, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, Karla Raettig, Maryland League of Conservation Voters

10:00-11:45 am
90 minute Workshops and 45 minute Sessions

10:00-10:45 am Session: Sparking Engagement Through Storytelling
Caitlyn Johnstone, Chesapeake Bay Program, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

When does dry science become a compelling story? How can journalism be a tool for on-the-ground community engagement? In this joint presentation by outreach and digital storytelling experts, you will learn how to effectively tie media stories to your daily efforts, counteract news fatigue and find the narrative within environmental topics. Through real-world case studies and an interactive component that will let you practice storytelling techniques, you will learn to build connections, tap into the bigger picture, and engage communities.

10:00-10:45 am Session: Algal Ecotechnologies Supporting Watershed Stewards
Peter May, University of Maryland Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Pat Kangus, University of Maryland Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Jim Foster, Anacostia Watershed Society

The Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) ecotechnology will be presented as a powerful tool for addressing Chesapeake Bay TMDL reduction goals with local watershed groups. The evolutionary history of the technology and its application today will be detailed and discussed. With operational examples taken from the Port of Baltimore's Dundalk Marine Terminal and locations from the Anacostia River in Maryland and Washington, D.C., data will be presented detailing the TMDL reductions calculated and realized as well as carbon uptake and dissolved oxygen production as additional side benefits. Pairing ATS with local watershed nonprofits is seen as mutually beneficial and will be discussed.

11:00-11:45 am Session: Shall I compare thee to a BMP?
Maureen Farrington, Anacostia Watershed Society, Emily Conrad, Anacostia Watershed Society

Environmental Science, specifically modern water and land management, is a new field with a younger vocabulary that can be alienating to the layperson. In this session, we explore how other fields of modern science have chosen their jargon, how simplifying the language we use to describe our work can benefit our communications to the public and political leaders, and how we really need a new name for BMPs.

11:00-11:45 am Session: Benefits and Burdens of Nonprofit Corporate Structures
Molly Brown, Chesapeake Legal Alliance

This presentation will provide attendees with an overview of the benefits and burdens of various tax-exempt organizational corporate structures, including 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and alternatives, available to groups working for a healthier Chesapeake Bay and its communities. Attendees will learn about incorporation methods, tax implications, funding options, and lobbying restrictions of each option, in order to determine what structure might best meet their organizations’ missions and goals. Attendees will be empowered to take advantage of the benefits of their organization's current or future corporate structure, aware of any accompanying restrictions, and confident to affect change within the bounds of both.

10:00-11:45 Workshop: Tools for Talent: Managing Up, Feedback, and Negotiation
Sarah Clark, Institute for Conservation Leadership

Our work for clean water is fueled by the efforts of people working together, and the people doing the work need support too. Invest in your skill development in this interactive workshop so that you can more effectively: “manage up” – with your boss or others in positions of authority, give and receive feedback and negotiate differences. Leave with practical tips and tools you can experiment with in a variety of situations, including within your work team.

10:00-11:45 Workshop: Applying Equity to Policies, Programs and Philanthropy
Mariah Davis, Choose Clean Water Coalition, Carmera Thomas, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Yinka Bode-George, The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, Alayna Chuney, Namati

Have you ever looked back on an organizational program, policy change, legal action, or a funded grant project and thought the intended outcome could have been better? Time and time again the conservation movement continues to fall short in understanding the needs and challenges of those who lack access to our most precious resources. During this workshop, participants will learn from various case studies within philanthropy, nonprofits programs, and public policy shaping that provide the most benefit to all individuals through an equitable lens.

10:00-11:45 Workshop: Farm Bill Funding, Wildlife Conservation and the Chesapeake Bay
Mark Salvo, Defenders of Wildlife, Terron L. Hillsman, Ph.D., Maryland Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Adam Tarr, Office of Senator Bob Casey

The 2018 Farm Bill provides many opportunities for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work with partner agencies and organizations to fund and implement conservation initiatives on private lands, including in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. This workshop will overview these federal programs, including the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and provide practical information on how to apply for funds that benefit the Bay’s waters and wildlife. Half of the workshop will be instruction and exercises on developing a competitive application for funding to protect and restore natural resources throughout the region.

12:00-1:00 pm
Lunch Plenary
DEIJ Across The Chesapeake: Moving The Needle

1:15- 2:00 pm
45 minutes Sessions

Session: Beyond the Environment: Connecting Your "Why" to the Bigger Picture
Sheila McMenamin, Baltimore Tree Trust, Sara Gaul, Baltimore Tree Trust

Environmental work can often be insular. Join us in exploring communications, marketing, and engagement strategies that connect people to the bigger picture, and motivate them to get involved. In this workshop we will explore our personal reasons for being involved in our work, how they relate to today's biggest societal challenges, and how we can communicate more effectively to show the connection between the two. This workshop will include personal and group reflection, as well as some helpful action items to take back to the office.

Session: Cleaning Local Waterways through Clear Choices
Katlyn Schmitt, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Betsy Nicholas, Waterkeepers Chesapeake

Clear Choices Clean Water is a campaign designed to increase awareness about choices we make and the impacts they have on our waterways. The campaign encourages residents to take “pledges” to implement water-friendly practices such as landscaping with native plants, using less fertilizer, maintaining septic systems, fostering soil health, and using less water to protect this precious resource. Each pledge results in quantifiable stormwater pollution reduction loads to the Chesapeake Bay resulting in cleaner waterways and communities. In this presentation, we’ll highlight campaign tactics to build partnerships with new allies, increase member-lists, identify new community leaders and legislative champions, and increase awareness about the impact our individual choices have on our watersheds.

Session: Broad Creek Restoration: Ditch Retrofits & the Academic Collaboratory
Grace Saunders, The Elizabeth River Project

As one of the most polluted tributaries in the Chesapeake Bay, the Elizabeth River’s Broad Creek is notorious for poor water quality and for flood events which endanger the adjacent, low-lying neighborhoods. To improve the health of Broad Creek, in addition to the vitality of the surrounding communities, the Elizabeth River Project employs two methods of stormwater management and mitigation: the ditch retrofit and the academic collaboratory. Ditch retrofits explore a new frontier in urban stormwater management while the academic collaborator draws upon academic institutions to represent underserved communities in the Broad Creek watershed.

Session: Tracking & Reporting the Health of Baltimore’s Waterways
Angela Haren, Blue Water Baltimore, John Dawes, Jr., Chesapeake Commons

Blue Water Baltimore, the home of the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper, has been tracking and reporting the health of Baltimore’s waterways since 2008. The organization’s long-term water quality monitoring program consists of 49 tidal and non-tidal sites in the Patapsco River watershed which are routinely monitored for a suite of parameters that are indicative of overall water health. Blue Water Baltimore teamed up with Chesapeake Commons to move their annual assessments of water health online to an interactive online platform powered by Water Reporter than can serve as a model for water quality mapping and visualization for watershed organizations worldwide.

Session: Diving into DEIJ in the Chesapeake
Chanté Coleman, Choose Clean Water Coalition


2:15-3:00 pm

Session: Communicating Climate Change
Megan Anderson, National Aquarium, Gillian Reily, National Aquarium

This workshop will give a very brief overview of the climate change communication tools and tips as developed by Frameworks Institute through the National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). Handouts and resources will be provided. There will be time at the end for a discussion on community level solutions.

Session: The Potential of Mussel Power for Clean Water in the Anacostia River
Jorge Bogantes Montero, Anacostia Watershed Society, Matt Gallagher, Anacostia Watershed Society

The restoration of freshwater mussel communities in the Anacostia River is starting to show viability and could be a valuable tool to help increase water quality through bio filtration. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Anacostia Watershed Society are laying the groundwork for future mussel restoration efforts by determining the most suitable habitats and the feasibility of scaling up further mussel propagation efforts in the river. Because mussels alter sediments and nutrients from the water column, the resulting improved water clarity will enhance submerged aquatic vegetation beds, providing habitat for other bottom dwelling invertebrates, which can support fish populations, including migratory and game fish species. These preliminary efforts are deploying thousands of mussels in the river, and are educating students and the general public about the importance of freshwater mussels.

Session: Volunteer Monitoring: Striving for Clean Water in DC
Robbie O’Donnell, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Olivia Anderson, Anacostia Riverkeeper

Water quality monitoring is crucial to the health of both people and animals using DC waters. Anacostia Riverkeeper bacterial monitoring has expanded from four sites, to eight, to a total of 23 across the District. Our DC monitoring program, known as “DC Water Watch”, is a volunteer monitoring program that will increase both community engagement and investment in waters around the District. This program will address the history of the program, successes and pitfalls of citizen science programs, QA/QC, and an interactive component exploring cutting edge data visualization tools for displaying data, freely accessible to non-profits and citizens alike.

Session: Prioritizing Conservation for Source Water Protection and More
Jake Leizear, Chesapeake Conservation Partnership

Over the past 2 years, the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership has worked to identify the best places in the Chesapeake Watershed for conservation. This has focused on a series of “goal maps”, such as farms, forestry, habitat, etc. But in recent months, the CCP has focused on coordinating resources on source water protection areas and their correlation to conservation opportunities. This session will explore that correlation and discuss the findings of this initiative, as well as its future implications.

Session: Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership: Market Driven Conservation
Jenna Mitchell, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Beginning in 2018, Turkey Hill Dairy instated a requirement for all farmers serving the dairy to obtain a conservation plan and implement all necessary practices on their farm include in their plan. This was no small feat, as over 130 farmers serve Turkey Hill. In order to support their farmers in achieving this ask, Turkey Hill joined forces with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Maryland Virginia Milk Producer’s Cooperative to build a partnership to guide and serve their farmers. This “Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership,” has now experienced tremendous success and serves as a promising model for replication through the ag industry and beyond.