The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay celebrated 30 years of leadership on Bay issues at the “Taste of the Chesapeake” this October.

The event provided an opportunity for the Alliance to look back on its prestigious history and to look forward at its promising future.

Kicking off the evening was Alliance President Terry Harwood, who said, “We are here tonight to celebrate 30 years of work by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to restore and protect the Bay watershed. What began in 1971 as a small group of concerned citizens dedicated to marshaling public and political support for this crucial ecosystem, has matured into an organization that is recognized today as the major force for collaboration and partnerships in the Bay restoration effort.”

Harwood then introduced the Alliance’s new executive director, David Bancroft, commenting on his impressive environmental record and years of not-for-profit management experience.

The Alliance marked its three decades of building partnerships for Bay restoration by presenting three 30th Anniversary Partnership Awards to groups that have displayed tireless efforts to support the Chesapeake.

“Much of our success over the past 30 years has been dependent on building consensus and fostering partnerships that benefit the entire Bay watershed,” Bancroft said.

Awards were presented to:

  • EPA Region III Administrator Donald Welsh for Region III’s more than two decades of support for the Alliance’s collaborative approach to Chesapeake Bay policy development and grassroots communications efforts.
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker for the CBF’s advocacy work on behalf of the entire Bay community, and whose efforts to “Save the Bay” have raised the profile of the Chesapeake restoration effort throughout the region.
  • James River Association Executive Director Patti Jackson for the Association’s dedication to watershed protection in Virginia and its commitment to strong regionwide efforts to protect and restore the Bay watershed.

A brief videotape presentation was shown highlighting 30 years of accomplishments by the Alliance.

Afterward Harwood remarked, “Throughout the presentation, you may have noticed one name that kept popping up, over and over again: Fran Flanigan. We are also here tonight to commemorate the years of inspired leadership to the Alliance by Fran Flanigan, who recently stepped down as executive director. Fran has been the heart and soul of the Alliance.”

In honor of her 23 years of service, Flanigan was first presented with the Admiral of the Chesapeake by J. Charles Fox, secretary, of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources on behalf of the State of Maryland

Harwood then took the podium and announced, “To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Board of Directors has established the First Annual Frances H. Flanigan Environmental Leadership Award to be presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the Bay and its watershed. Most appropriately, the first recipient of this award is … Fran Flanigan.”

The Alliance’s annual “Taste of the Chesapeake,” in which chefs from across the watershed prepared their signature Bay dishes, took place at Baltimore’s B& O Railroad Museum, with the New Legacy Dance Band providing the entertainment.

Sponsorship support for the event was provided by Constellation Energy, Mirant, Perdue, PPL, Safe Harbor Water Power Company, Yorktowne Hotel, Allfirst, Gannet-Fleming, Howard Hanna Detweiler Realty, McCormick and Co., PEPCO, and the Potomac Heritage Partnership.