The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has not engaged in a strategic planning process since 1992. It is imperative that the Alliance move forward to address the needs of the Chesapeake region in the coming decade and that a clear and concise direction be set. Therefore, from October 2006 to July 2007, the Alliance engaged a consultant to help the organization work through the process, examining the organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats by performing both an internal and external analysis.
In addition, the views of a variety of Bay watershed stakeholders were solicited. In the end, the Alliance developed a vision statement, a mission statement, a statement of goals and objectives and a strategy to achieve them.
The Alliance is a key force in creating a healthy, sustainable Chesapeake region where blue crabs, brook trout and children can thrive.
We forge and advance collaborative solutions to benefit the environment and people of the Chesapeake region.
The Alliance works to advance a clean Chesapeake. Because of the enormous impact of land use in the region, our focus will be on stormwater, agriculture, forestry and development. We will achieve our mission in these areas by providing: action assistance, policy solutions and broader community engagement. In short:
Action Assistance: The Alliance will target its efforts on under-served audiences that can make a significant difference in the restoration effort, including local government elected officials and executives, watershed organizations, business leaders and private landowners with less than 25 acres.
A Local Government Assistance Center will be created to assist local elected officials and executives in understanding Chesapeake restoration goals in relation to decisions they will be making on land use, land use change, development and stormwater.
Accelerated restoration will be achieved through a Watershed Assistance Center offering local groups technical training, project leadership skills, education, technical assistance and networking opportunities while continually working to bring financial resources to the table.
Business will play a strong role in the Chesapeake's restoration. Businesses for the Bay will be re-focused on nutrient and sediment reduction. New member recruitment will be driven toward the agri-business sector in reducing nutrients and those firms that make extraordinary efforts in stormwater reduction.
Land management decisions made by landowners of 25 or fewer acres will have a dramatic effect on the health of the region. Forestry for the Bay is a web-based program that is specifically directed at this landowner segment. While it will have substantial goals of its own, the program will also function as an "on ramp" to other public and private land management programs that focus on water quality, land preservation and forestry.
Policy Solutions: Innovation in public policy will be necessary to complete the job of the Chesapeake cleanup. This includes policy changes at the federal, state and local levels where the Alliance can be a force in developing and fostering model legislation as well as drafting agreements to be signed by the Chesapeake Executive Council. The target audience for the Alliance efforts will be thought leaders and elected and appointed decision-makers.
It is imperative that a new Chesapeake Bay agreement be signed by the partnership in 2010. A total maximum daily load requirement will improve water quality, but may not create a healthy sustainable region.
The state agricultural secretaries and commissioners in the region must be fully engaged in the policies being proposed for the Chesapeake cleanup. We will continue to convene this group to ensure that concepts of farm viability and agricultural community inclusiveness are included in proposed policies.
The Chesapeake cleanup effort has not fully tapped the advice of the corporate community. As a result, the Alliance will convene a Chesapeake CEO Roundtable consisting of Fortune 1000 corporate executives and chairs.
Broader Community Engagement: The Alliance will attract a broader group of constituents to become involved in the Chesapeake's restoration. Connecting people to their watershed has value in itself, but this will also increase our own membership and financial support. In order to draw this audience, the Alliance will take multiple steps to generate more media exposure and employ numerous other marketing efforts. The Alliance will brand its collaborative approach as the future or "next generation" of the environmental movement based on solutions and success. People and organizations who have not yet joined the Chesapeake effort will be more likely to endorse and join the Alliance's positive agenda.
The Alliance believes in a number of values that underpin its vision, mission, programs and actions. These are:
- Listening to and valuing the ideas and beliefs of all the people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed because the decisions made toward a sustainable Chesapeake will impact everyone;
- Creating and promoting win-win collaborative solutions that will provide for a more equitable society where there are not individuals or groups who perceive they have been harmed;
- Maintaining and restoring ecosystem health in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that will benefit the region and also serve as an example to the world;
- Preserving native biological diversity and natural landscapes;
- Maintaining the Chesapeake quality of life by promoting livable communities through growth management, low impact development and better site design principles;
- Encouraging increased resource efficiency, the reduction of dependence on nonrenewable resources, and turning waste into usable resources;
- Meeting fundamental human needs and providing economic opportunities for all through a sound and robust economy; and
- Respecting and cherishing the history of all of our citizens and preserving the sense of place in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.