The Alliance is about to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Founded in 1971 by 100 people and organizations concerned about the deterioration of the Chesapeake Bay, the Alliance has built a solid reputation as the premier environmental partnership organization in the region.

The Alliance has typically worked quietly behind the scenes helping to bring together concerned parties to arrive at real, long-term solutions to Bay health issues. Playing the role of facilitator and consensus builder has been the Alliance’s unique role among the constellation of Bay organizations.

As such, it has been difficult for the Alliance to garner much press attention and its profile and name recognition do not match its accomplishments over the years. The old saying about the press, “if it bleeds, it leads” is definitely true. If we employed flashier or more confrontation tactics such as lobbying or litigation that tend to attract press coverage, our name recognition might be higher, but there would be less harmony among the citizenry and stakeholders living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. A summary of those accomplishments are:

1975: The Alliance makes recommendations that eventually lead to the creation of the Chesapeake Bay Program.

1983: Alliance facilitation was a key element in bringing governors and legislators from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia together in 1983 to sign the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

1985: The Alliance’s Citizen Monitoring Program is launched. It is the first in the region to pass EPA quality assurance standards, which allows the data to be added to state and federal databases.

1988: The Chesapeake Regional Information Service, now known as Ask the Bay Experts, was launched. It is an on-line service that answers thousands of questions about the Bay each year.

1990: The first river sojourn takes place on the Susquehanna River. Since then, more than 2,000 people have “sojourned” on rivers in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia.

1991: The first issue of the Bay Journal, the publication of record on Bay restoration, is published. It has grown to 11 issues a year and has more than 48,000 subscribers.

1995: The Alliance is the first nonprofit to undertake submerged aquatic vegetation restoration.

1996: Businesses for the Bay, a program to promote voluntary implementation of pollution prevention practices throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is launched.

1999: The Alliance’s Chesapeake Bay Renewal Project is responsible for broadening the breadth and scope of the environmental goals adopted under the landmark Chesapeake 2000 agreement.

2001: The Alliance introduces RestoreCorps, a comprehensive training and volunteer recruitment program targeted to build the capacity of local watershed organizations and accelerate the amount of restoration work occurring in the watershed. In addition, the Alliance teams with the National Association of Home Builders and the Center for Watershed Protection to create Builders for the Bay.

2002: The Alliance conducts a headwaters analysis to investigate and identify options regarding the involvement of headwater states—Delaware, New York and West Virginia—in restoration and protection. Those states join the Principals’ Staff Committee of the Bay Program.

2004: The Alliance assumes coordination of Project Clean Stream – a tributary cleanup program that engages 20 watershed groups and 2,500 volunteers on the first weekend in April each year.

2005: In partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Constellation Energy, the Alliance initiates a combined riparian forest buffer and carbon sequestration project to plant trees on 75 acres.

Please join us in celebrating 35 years of partnership building at this year’s Taste of the Chesapeake 6–10 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Loews Hotel in Annapolis.

ACB Board of Directors election

The election of new members and a chair-elect of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Board of Directors will take place at its annual membership meeting Oct. 13–14 at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD.

Directions to SERC are found at

www.serc.si.edu/public_programs/directions.jsp

Alliance members who would like to vote will find a copy of the ballot at

www.acb-online.org/boardballot.cfm beginning Sept. 13.

Members who do not have access to the Internet may call 410-377-6270 to request that a ballot or directions to SERC be mailed to them.

Leister Park Tree Planting

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Prettyboy Watershed Alliance are looking for volunteers to take part in establishing a stream buffer 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 7 & 21 at Leister Park in Hampstead, MD.

Tools, gloves, and refreshments will be provided.

Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get muddy.

For information, call the Alliance at 410-337-6270.

Cloverland Farms tree planting

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy are looking for volunteers to plant trees at Cloverland Farms in Baltimore County, MD.

Planting dates are scheduled:

  • 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 21.
  • 1–4 p.m. Oct, 22.
  • 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 28 & Nov. 4.

Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get muddy.

For information, call the Alliance at 410-377-6270 or David Greene of the GVC at david_greene@ipswitch.com.