In late October, Waterkeepers from the Chesapeake region gathered at the Capital Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania to convene and learn from one another.
The Chesapeake Regional Summit drew 25 participants to the bursting fall hills of Pennsylvania. The Waterkeepers represented three states and D.C. Also in attendance were Waterkeeper Alliance General Counsel Dan Estrin, Training Associate Hailey Savage and Organizer María Díaz-González.
“The regional summit is critical to learn best practices from one another, stay on top of emerging issues affecting our watersheds and [provides] a chance to reconnect with our fellow [Waterkeepers] in order to rejuvenate our spirit as well as our soul,” said Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper.
The Summit featured five workshops and discussions, beginning with a training session on Esri’s ArcGIS mapping software and ending with the unveiling of an online toolkit designed to help frontline communities utilize the Clean Water Act.
Waterkeepers also appreciated the opportunity to discuss issues pertinent to their watersheds — including air pollution from chicken CAFOs and increasing equity in Chesapeake Bay improvement metrics — with each other and with public officials like Dr. Kandis Boyd, the Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program Office.
When not in sessions, the group took full advantage of the fall foliage and beautiful weather by exploring the retreat grounds, taking scenic bike rides, and hopping on to the nearby Appalachian Trail.
The crisp days ended with participants gathering around a campfire for s’mores and stories, encapsulating many Waterkeepers’ favorite part of the summit — getting to see everyone together.