Better Models For Conservation

Chesapeake-Bay-Better-Models-cover-390x260Download your copy of A Sustainable Chesapeake below. You may select individual case studies, chapters or the entire publication as PDF files.

This book is an important conservation resource for individuals, organizations, governments and businesses across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  It profiles promising conservation practices and technologies and describes the protection of critical land and water resources.

The book’s six chapters—Climate Change Solutions, Stream Restoration, Green Infrastructure, Incentive Driven Conservation, Watershed Protection, and Stewardship—are each introduced with a summary of the restoration principles learned from the projects. Thirty-one case studies feature the work of government and private organizations and conservation leaders throughout the Bay watershed.

The book was developed by David Burke, an experienced conservation planner, and Joel Dunn, Program Coordinator of The Conservation Fund’s Sustainable Chesapeake Initiative. The initiative builds on The Conservation Fund’s record of land and water conservation with tools that lead to smarter conservation and development, increases the capacity of regional groups and agencies to solve conservation issues and demonstrates sustainable economies.

The case studies show the many dimensions of land and water conservation through a standardized, user-friendly format that includes photos, diagrams, tables, facts and concepts that people and organizations can draw from to solve local conservation challenges.


Download Introduction


A warming trend clearly has been established in the Chesapeake region. Rising temperatures and deeper waters are likely to alter Bay ecosystem dynamics, affecting fisheries, plants and terrestrial wildlife as well as endangering man-made infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, the Bay region’s low elevation makes it among the most vulnerable in the nation to sea level rise and storm surge induced by climate change, which poses numerous problems, including: shoreline erosion, loss of islands, coastal flooding, wetlands retreat, saltwater intrusion and inundation of some coastal areas.

The case studies in this chapter were chosen to provide tangible examples of mitigation, adaptation and climate change education.

Download Chapter 1 (Chapter Intro & 3 Case Studies — 24 MB PDF file)

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Environmental Protection Agency studies show nearly 50% of the freshwater streams sampled in the Chesapeake Bay watershed were in very poor or poor condition. Several hundred million dollars have been spent on stream restoration in the watershed and this trend is expected to continue.

The case studies in this chapter illustrate how different contemporary design approaches have been applied to degraded urban headwater streams and channelized streams in rural agricultural landscapes. The studies do not promote one approach over another, but do provide a better understanding of the customized nature of stream restoration and the array of practices used to achieve particular objectives. Limited water-quality data accompanies each case study in this chapter suggesting, but not confirming, initial results.

Download Chapter 2 (Chapter Intro & 4 Case Sudies — 21.98 MB)

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Strategic land conservation of large, ecologically intact, natural areas, working forestlands and connecting corridors is now recognized as one of the key emerging solutions to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

The case studies in this chapter were carefully chosen to cover the breadth of actions needed to protect green infrastructure in different settings.

Download Chapter 3 (Chapter Intro & 7 Case Studies — 23.69 MB)

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Incentive-driven conservation strategies use economic and social benefits as proactive measures to inspire good stewardship and land management that protects and restores natural resources on private land. These approaches are voluntary, nonregulatory and market driven. Financial inducements are a proven motivator for private landowners and have become a primary conservation tool at the federal government level.

The case studies in this chapter detail emerging ecosystem market opportunities where entrepreneurs and private landowners can make money by restoring and preserving important lands for conservation purposes.

Download Chapter 4 (Chapter Intro & 5 Case Studies — 15.5 MB)

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Human activities have degraded substantial portions of the Chesapeake’s ecological resources, particularly the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s aquatic systems. The watershed is rapidly urbanizing and faces intense pressure from climate change, development, population growth, highway construction, agriculture, and water and air pollution. Water quality is a direct reflection of the management of human activities within the watershed and whether they are in harmony with complex ecosystem processes, particularly those involving wetland and riparian zones. Protecting and restoring the Bay begins with watershed protection in the hundreds of subwatersheds within the Chesapeake region.

Advances in watershed protection presented in this chapter can be replicated in geographic areas across the Chesapeake region to improve water quality, restore habitat and solve resource management challenges.

Download Chapter 5 (Chapter Intro & 5 Case Studies — 17.39 MB)

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Restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed requires active engagement in the responsible management of natural resources. This conservation ethic is commonly called environmental stewardship. Stewardship involves the vigilant awareness and care of citizens, organizations and governments that believe they share a common responsibility for the integrity of the natural world.

The case studies in this chapter were chosen to show how effective environmental stewardship actions can occur on farms, subdivisions, corporate lands, military bases, parks, refuges and other settings. The studies demonstrate successful practices that can be applied to the management of forests, wetlands, agricultural lands, water and invasive species.

Download Chapter 6 (Chapter Intro & 7 Case Studies — 24.27 MB)

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