- In May 2016, the Wetland Workgroup and OpinionWorks released a report on their work to identify barriers to wetland restoration among agricultural landowners. Information collected through surveys and focus groups with landowners in South Central Pennsylvania and Maryland’s Eastern Shore showed that barriers to wetland program adoption exist in five categories: a lack of awareness, concerns for privacy, financial uncertainty, a desire for flexibility and an audience that is difficult to reach. As a result, related outreach to landowners should focus on the message, mitigate the barriers, rely on trusted messengers and prompt and support conversations between landowners and specialists.
- In November 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Program launched a website to accelerate wetland restoration on private lands in the watershed. Wetlands Work features educational information about the benefits of wetlands and the incentives of wetland restoration, as well as a collection of restoration success stories and a search function that connects private landowners with funding programs and wetland planners in their area.
- Fostering information exchange at Wetland Workgroup meetings.
- Streamlining the collection of data through the National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) and confirming the accuracy of information that is reported.
- Developing strategies to increase wetland restoration program participation among local stakeholders.
- Exploring how those wetlands that are performing greater ecosystem function can receive greater pollution-reducing credit in the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Watershed Model.
2017 – 2019
- Working with the Chesapeake Bay Program Black Duck Workgroup to identify priority restoration areas.
- Implementing select solutions from a Ducks Unlimited and Nature Conservancy stakeholder report to address barriers to wetland restoration among local stakeholders, improve outreach and identify areas to implement outreach.
- Improving wetland mapping to document the loss of tidal wetlands.
- Investigating factors that affect wetlands, modeling the loss and migration of tidal wetlands due to sea level rise and assessing the vulnerability of tidal freshwater wetlands.
- Completing a pilot wetland mapping project in Pennsylvania and evaluating its expansion to other states.
- Developing a framework for enhancing the Chesapeake Bay Program Wetland Workgroup’s capacity to meet the Wetland Outcome.
- Identifying opportunities to restore large wetland acreages in each state and/or priority watershed.
- Identifying areas in each state and/or priority watershed in which wetland restoration would greatly benefit water quality and wildlife habitat.
- Developing an inventory of wetland restoration projects and programs that fund wetland restoration in each state and determining how to share this information with practitioners who interact with local stakeholders.
- Establishing “Wetland Outreach Coordinators” in each state and/or priority watershed to build outreach among local stakeholders.