Chesapeake Bay Program

West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Update

WV Chesapeake Bay Program Website

Spring 2015, Issue 18

Quick Links


U.S. EPA's Chesapeake Bay TMDL website


What's My Watershed?

In This Issue
People Making A Difference
WV Sustainable Schools Grant Application Available
Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust
WVDOF Trees for Bees Program
CommuniTree Spring 2015 Awards
White Horse Mountain Aquisition
Faith-Based Organization Involvement
People Making a Difference

 Gretchen Cremann

Submitted by Carla Hardy, WVCA

 This issue, we interviewed Gretchen Cremann. Ms. Cremann is the science teacher at Moorefield High School in Hardy County. Last year, she was the advisor to the first place West Virginia Envirothon Team, the Moorefield High School Gold Team. Not only did she lead the winning team, but she also advised the runner-up, the Moorefield High School Blue Team! The West Virginia Envirothon is a conservation education program and competition for students in grades 9 through 12. The West Virginia Envirothon focuses on five subject areas: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current environmental topic. By participating in the Envirothon program students learn about West Virginia's diverse ecosystem and how they can help conserve and protect it for future generations.  Winners are given the opportunity to compete nationally.  It's with great pride that we report that in 2014 six teams within the top ten were from the Chesapeake Bay Drainage! To read the full interview with Gretchen, click here.


WV Sustainable Schools Awards and Grant Program Winners Announced Soon.

Submitted by Vicki Fenwick-Judy, The Mountain Institute  


Keep you eye out for a new grant opportunity from WV Sustainable Schools! Through a partnership between The Mountain Institute and the WV Department of Education, grants of up to $2,000 will be available for counties interested in developing an environmental literacy plan or program. Counties that receive these funds will also receive technical assistance to help them in their efforts. The grant opportunity will be announced in full in late April. Counties in the Chesapeake Bay will be given priority.


The WV Sustainable Schools (WVSS) recognizes  schools that offer sustainability education to boost academic achievement and community engagement; save energy and reduce costs in their facilities; and protect health and foster wellness for students and staff. WVSS has been developed under the framework of the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools program (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html). To be nominated as a U.S. Green Ribbon School, WV schools must first apply to the WV Sustainable Schools program. All public and private schools are invited to apply. For more information about the state and federal programs, or to access the intent to apply form, please visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/sustainable-schools/ or email sustainableschools@wvde.state.wv.us .

Workshop Open for Effective Grant Writing 

Alana Hartman, WVDEP


Please save the date of April 23rd to attend a morning workshop where Elizabeth Nellums will discuss the principles of effective grant writing, and walk participants through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's (NFWF) Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund application process.


Ms. Nellums is the manager of Chesapeake Programs at NFWF. The target audience for this workshop is representatives of local governments in West Virginia's Potomac Basin (8 county "panhandle"), and non-profits, watershed groups and others are most welcome to attend.


The workshop will be held at the WVU Health Science Center, 2500 Foundation Way, Martinsburg, WV.


Please contact Alana Hartman  if you are interested: alana.c.hartman@wv.gov

Please feel free to pass this along to other people on your team who may write grants.

Get Involved: Managment Strategies Comment Period OPEN 


Your input is welcome on management strategies!


Recently, the Chesapeake Bay Program announced the opening of the public comment period for the 25 draft management strategies under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Since the signing of the Watershed Agreement in June 2014, the Chesapeake Bay Program's Goal Implementation Teams have been crafting "management strategies" that describe the steps necessary to achieve the Agreement's Vision. These draft management strategies address the 31 outcomes of the Watershed Agreement and outline plans for implementation, monitoring and assessing progress and coordinating partners and stakeholders in our work toward restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Individuals, communities and local governments will benefit from the achievement of the Watershed Agreement's outcomes, such as better tree canopy in our communities, cleaner water in our local streams, and healthier fish populations.  These same stakeholders also have a role in implementing the management strategies.  Therefore, Chesapeake Bay Program partners welcome comments on the draft strategies between March 16 and April 30, 2015. Interested parties can offer input in two ways:


* Submitting an online comment at www.chesapeakebay.net/managementstrategies


* Submitting an email to agreement@chesapeakebay.net  


A press release with additional information about the management strategies and the public comment period can be found here:  http://www.chesapeakebay.net/presscenter/release/22564  

SPOTLIGHT: Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust- Expanding Hubs and Cooridors in the Cacapon River Watershed

 Submitted by Kelly Watkinson- Executive Director of Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust


The Cacapon River Watershed

In November of 2014, the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust (Trust) wrapped up a two year partnership with American Rivers and US EPA that resulted in eleven new conservation easements and the permanent protection over 2,500 acres of important watershed lands.  The American Rivers-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant Program (PHIGP) provided $225,000 in funding which was critical in leveraging an additional $2.1 Million in local, state, federal, and private funds necessary for success.  These groups united around a shared vision of the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust's Healing Waters Land Protection Prioritization and Green Infrastructure Plan (local), with West Virginia state conservation and regional conservation priorities identified through the Chesapeake Bay Program, including the Open Space Institute's and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Resilient Landscape Initiative.  Together, these initiatives aim to protect contiguous parcels of unbroken forest resilient to the effects of a warming climate, riparian corridors, and conservation hub/corridor complexes that connect public lands via privately protected lands.  This partnership also protected important river corridors, as well as parcels that help connect the Short Mountain Wildlife Management Area to the George Washington National Forest and Sideling Hill Wildlife Management Area to Cacapon State Park.  

To read full article,click here.

WV Divison of Forestry's Trees For Bees Program

Submitted by Herb Peddicord, Chesapeake Bay Forester

The volunteers from the Trees For Bees Riparian Planting in Berkeley County.


In order to enhance Tree canopy in the eastern panhandle, the WV Division of Forestry (WVDOF)  is always looking for unique opportunities to plant trees. One of these opportunities surfaced in the Fall of 2014. WVDOF  was approached by the WV Eastern Panhandle Beekeepers Association (WVEPBA) to provide trees for bees. Bees are suffering from loss of habitat in the area and planting bee friendly trees/shrubs is agreat program to encourage tree planting. So a new partnership between WVEPBA and WVDOF was born.

WVEPBA members were given the opportunity to order 10-100 trees for planting in approved areas. They then paid $4.00 per tree for deer protection. They could also receive 1 free elderberry shrub for every 10 trees ordered.

Orders greater than 50 trees qualified for volunteer assistance which helped with in-kind matching requirement. In Fall 2014, the first planting season, 19 orders for 504 trees/shrubs were received. $1,300 was collected by WVEOBA for the purchase of supplies. Trees were delivered Oct 1 to the Inwood forestry office for pickup. There were a total of 7 public plantings on these larger orders of 50 or more and 150 volunteer hours were accrued for all 19 plantings. This also accounted for over 5 acres of urban tree planting credit.

   The spring of 2015 currently has 14 more beekeepers ordering 314 trees. Plans are to offer this program to the Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association in the fall. For more info contact Herb Peddicord: herb.f.peddicord@wv.gov.

To read the full article, click here.

CommuniTree Spring 2015 Awards!

Tanner Haid, Cacapon Institute

This year is the second year that CommuniTree projects will occur within ALL 8 counties of the Potomac Headwaters.


West Virginia Project CommuniTree (CTree) is proud to announce our spring 2015 awards! Eighteen groups from across the Potomac Headwaters have successfully applied to plant 596 trees at schools, parks, road right-of-ways, hiking trails, and other community areas. Those groups include:

Berkeley County Council Martinsburg,
Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority Inwood,
Breckenridge HOA Charles Town,
Camp Frame 4H Association Hedgesville,
City of Ranson Ranson,
Deerfield Village HOA Shepherdstown,
Eagle Intermediate School Martinsburg,
Frankfort Intermediate School Fort Ashby,
Franklin Elementary School Franklin,
Grant County Extension Service,
Hammond's Mill HOA Spring Mills,
Hampshire High School Romney,
Moorefield High School Envirothon Team,
Paw Paw Schools Paw Paw,
Shepherd Environmental Organization Shepherdstown,
Sleepy Creek Watershed Association Berkeley Springs,
TA Lowery Elementary School Shenandoah Junction,
The Villages at Washington Trail HOA Martinsburg

As the Urban Watershed Forester, I am excited to see such a high quality mix of applications coming from all across the Potomac Headwaters. This spring, will mark the 2nd time in CTree history when CTree Kits will be awarded to groups in each of the eight counties in the Potomac Headwaters (Jefferson 5, Berkeley 6, Morgan 2, Mineral 1, Hampshire 1, Hardy 1, Grant 1, Pendleton 1).
This program continues to thrive through the hard work and dedication of all of the CTree Project Leaders, and for that, we send them our deepest gratitude and wish them all the best as they continue to plan their plantings this spring.
To learn more about W.Va. Project CommuniTree, visit the Forestry tab at www.CacaponInstitute.org. Or, you can visit the Updates & Events tab to see our calendar of conservation projects, environmental trainings, community events, and more.
If you have any questions, you can also contact me at THaid@CacaponInstitute.org or by calling 540-335-0687.

White Horse Mountain Aquisition

Aimee Weldon, Potomac Conservancy

Save White Horse Mountain: Indiegogo Campaign Film
Save White Horse Mountain: Indiegogo Campaign Film


I wanted to let you know about an exciting project we have been working on - the acquisition and eventual protection, as a new WV DNR public land, of the 1,700 acre White Horse Mountain property north of Springfield. Thanks to many of you, we've been slowly raising the $2.8M necessary to purchase the property and I'm happy to say that we are very close to achieving that goal. Our plan, if everything goes as planned, is to purchase this property by the end of April and hopefully transfer it to DNR by the end of 2015 to become a new Wildlife Management Area open to the public for hunting, hiking and other recreation.


However, this isn't a done deal and we still need some help to get us over the finish line. So we prepared this video and crowdfunding campaign (click on the image above to watch) to raise more awareness about and support for the project. The video stars a couple local champions of the project - Janet Woodson and Will Keaton!


If you'd like to see this project happen and gain a new public conservation land, I encourage you to donate (even small donations help - there is no minimum) or share widely with others in WV who care about protecting these special places. 

Click here to DONATE! 



Churches and Other Faith-Based Organizations Can Get Involved!

Submitted by Alana Hartman, WV Department of Environmental Protection


Photo by Cacapon Institute

Spread the word...that our local faith-based organizations are also eligible for project funding to improve local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. For instance, in 2013 and 2014, St. James (Charles Town) and St. Joseph's (Martinsburg) Knights of Columbus, and Asbury United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown participated in Project CommuniTree. Faith-based leaders can promote these service opportunities to their congregations, or connect with a local watershed group that may already have planned activities.

West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Tributary Team also has willing partners able to provide technical assistance for any group seeking to become better stewards. If you are a member of, or work with members of, faith-based organizations, please contact me or pass along my information to those who are interested: alana.c.hartman@wv.gov, or (304)993-6814.

About WV's Potomac Tributary Strategy Team
Fourteen percent (14%) of West Virginia drains into the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay. In June of 2002, Governor Bob Wise signed the Chesapeake Bay Program Water Quality Initiative Memorandum of Understanding. By signing this memo, West Virginia agreed to develop goals and objectives to reduce nutrient and sediment loading to the Chesapeake Bay. 

To help WV accomplish these goals, Project Teams began working in targeted watersheds. These groups build partnerships, gather funding, and identify priority projects that are most important to their local communities.

Reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment in local creeks and rivers will mean healthier water resources that are better able to sustain tourism, fishing, drinking water supplies, wildlife habitat, and other uses. Each one of us can act locally to help achieve these goals.


WV's Potomac Tributary Strategy Team