- In February 2016, the Diversity Workgroup and the Audubon Naturalist Society hosted a pilot environmental career event highlighting employment opportunities related to a clean Chesapeake Bay.
- Between June and August of 2016, the Diversity Workgroup developed, distributed and analyzed the results of a diversity profile to determine the demographic make-up of Chesapeake Bay Program management, advisory groups, workgroups and staff. This information was used to develop and establish a baseline for an annual indicator that will be used to track progress toward the diversity outcome.
- The Diversity Workgroup has obtained a contractor to develop a Chesapeake Bay Environmental Justice Screen to develop demographic data and information to help the Chesapeake Bay Program set priorities and more effectively implement the outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
- The Diversity Workgroup and Toxics Workgroup have established a Fish Consumption Review and Advisory Subgroup to guide the development of communications and outreach to communities in which fish consumption advisories exist.
- The Chesapeake Bay Program has significantly expanded its guidance and mailing lists around grants and requests for proposals in order to promote programs and projects that increase diversity and encourage its partners to include elements of the diversity work plan in their proposals and applications.
- Collecting and evaluating existing diversity programs and developing a strategy for improvement.
- Increasing collaboration with environmental justice entities throughout the watershed and incorporating their perspectives and those of leaders from community and faith-based organizations into the Chesapeake Bay Program’s governance structure.
- Evaluating and improving transparency and efficiency in providing community-based grant opportunities to areas with diverse and underrepresented populations.
- Working with local governments to help local decision makers maximize benefits and minimize adverse impacts of restoration project planning, siting and funding processes.
- Beginning a dialogue with underrepresented communities in order to better understand the link between community issues and watershed restoration.
- Identifying opportunities to work with diverse communities located near federal installations.
- Identifying opportunities to work with communities in which fish consumption advisories exist and initiating a pilot project to improve communications and outreach.
- Increasing outreach to diverse groups related to hiring full-time employees.
- Exploring diversity and inclusion workplace training opportunities and resources for state agencies.
- Identifying opportunities at high schools, community colleges and universities to create a compensated internship program for individuals from diverse backgrounds.
January – June 2016
- Increasing the Chesapeake Bay Program stakeholder base by forming partnerships with groups that can help identify, target and engage underrepresented and underserved communities in the work of the partnership.
July – December 2016
- Using informational tools and databases (including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool, or EJSCREEN) to identify stressed or underserved communities in the watershed, enhance partners’ understanding of diverse populations and target work and funding to those areas with the potential to raise environmental justice concerns.
- Reviewing and revising grant guidance criteria.
- Working with existing career service programs that provide support to applicants to expand employment opportunities for underrepresented individuals and communities.
- Contributing to and using as a resource the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice in Action blog.
January – December 2017
- Establishing a baseline of the level of diversity at the Chesapeake Bay Program.
- Designating a diversity engagement coordinator to engage underrepresented communities and historically black colleges and universities in the watershed.
- Working with funding organizations to develop a guide that would assist groups working in areas with diverse and underrepresented populations with grant competition awareness, selection criteria, accountability, capacity building and writing.
- Supporting the development of communication and outreach strategies related to the Tree Canopy outcome that are targeted to diverse audiences, focusing on those areas with the greatest needs and opportunities.
- Developing a pilot curriculum for an environmental career-building day for all K-12 schools in the watershed.