College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
AGNR Research

Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology

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2018 Fall Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) workshops

The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology (Hughes Center) in conjunction with the Maryland Departments of Agriculture and the Environment, held workshops in November and December to support the state’s Watershed Implementation Planning (WIP) efforts, with support from the Town Creek Foundation. The Hughes Center facilitated six regional workshops to support strong relationships between agencies and implementers as well as to hear regional input from all 23 counties and Baltimore City. Important contributions were made by representatives from the Maryland Forest Service, the Maryland Department of Planning, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

"One of the strengths of these workshop meetings is to highlight that everyone is doing their part for Chesapeake Bay cleanup, and to build bridges and connections between sectors," said Hughes Center Executive Director Dr. Suzanne Dorsey.

Each workshop focused on state and local partnerships through presentations from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). The presentations (available for download below) focused on updates from the stormwater, wastewater and agricultural sectors.

In response to the desire for more localized attention, the workshops featured a new county breakout session where each county was able to network, ask questions to the presenters and collaborate to address eight guiding questions. These questions covered opportunities for collaboration, cost-sharing, barriers to nutrient reduction goals, and any recommendations participants had to improve the path to 2025.

This year the Center observed a perspective shift in local implementers. Partners are no longer only focused on planning for implementation, they are now focused on implementation and maintenance. Decision makers can reasonably expect to hear more about funding needs for Best Management Practice (BMP) maintenance in the coming years.

The Hughes Center took what we heard during the fall WIP workshops and developed recommendations that were presented to the Maryland Governor's Chesapeake Bay Cabinet on Monday, Dec. 17.

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