Important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to reconnect the public with nature and foster a shared ownership of the Chesapeake’s diverse resources. This work includes enhancing public access to the bay watershed and its tributaries, increasing the quality and quantity of formal K-12 and informal experiential learning about the Chesapeake watershed, increasing awareness and enhancing the ability of citizens, community groups and local governments to participate in bay restoration activities, and promoting community engagement in protecting and conserving lands of cultural significance. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time.
What progress has been made
How much money is being spent
The Bay Program public access goal is comprised of three measures: public access sites, Chesapeake Bay Gateways sites, and water trails. In 2010:
Overall, the Bay Program has achieved 98 percent of its public access goal.
About 80 percent of the goal was achieved during the 2009-2010 school year (2.17 million of 2.72 million students), based on data from the 2008-2009 school year.
During the 2009-2010 school year, the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant program funded Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for more than 46,000 students and training opportunities for more than 1,400 teachers.
To date, 77 local governments have been awarded Bay Partner Community status, which is 23 percent of the goal. The program, however, is no longer funded.
Based on data collected from 61 Chesapeake Bay watershed organizations, 22,846 volunteers participated in restoration activities in 2010.
was reported in the Chesapeake Registry for 2010 by the Bay Program partners.
Reported funding information is available for activities that foster stewardship in the following areas: watershed education, public access, place-based interpretation, citizen engagement, and other work to foster Chesapeake stewardship.
Health information is not applicable in this goal area. The Bay Program partners are exploring ways to improve the measurement of stewardship activities. The Funding information is presented as reported to the Bay Program and does not currently capture all Bay Program partner work.
Why is Bay stewardship important?
The individual and collective actions of the Bay watershed’s residents — from individual landowners to private businesses to local governments – have a significant effect on the Bay. Engaging and educating citizens and stakeholder groups throughout the watershed is vital to creating lasting connections to the Bay and inspiring individual actions. This is why stewardship is a critical component to a comprehensive Bay restoration strategy.
The Bay Program partners promote individual stewardship and assist citizens, communities, and local governments in undertaking initiatives to achieve restoration and conservation in the Chesapeake region. This includes efforts to educate citizens on how to restore and protect the Bay and its watershed, providing outreach and capacity-building to important stakeholder groups and restoration leaders, and improving public access to treasured landscapes throughout the watershed.
These actions rely heavily on engaging citizen and local government groups who help with on-the-ground actions. Educators and interpreters throughout the watershed are also important partners that help individuals understand and create a connection to the Bay.
Detailed Stewardship Funding Information
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