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9th Annual Choose Clean Water Coalition Conference



June 4, 2018

Wow! What can I say? Choose Clean Water Coalition put on a spectacular 9th annual Clean Water Conference this past May in Lancaster, PA.  The Coalition aims to harness collective power, conveyed through the Conference’s theme this year, Connecting our Power. Sessions for the Conference covered a variety of topics including innovative agriculture, diversity, equity and justice, and community engagement.

The equity journey was truly insightful. With important breakout sessions on empowerment, listening to and responding to community needs, alignment, and most of all patience. The conference presenters provided informative and useful documents including The Dos and Don’ts of Community Engagement and Choose Clean Water Coalition’s Diversity Toolkit: building Principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in Organizations. The Chesapeake Foodshed Network referenced this document in order to advocate for and develop a demographic survey at its 2016 Chesapeake Food Summit. We want to thank Director, Chanté Coleman for her leadership in this work. 

The conference lead attendants on a dedicated path to create space for capacity building and affecting innovative change in their own work while strengthening partnerships and collaboration by supporting numerous field trips.  Participants attended paddle boarding and mindfulness sessions and a beautiful reception was held at The Farm at Eagles Ridge to foster genuine connections!

The Chesapeake Bay is home to 17 million people and over 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals. At one time, the Chesapeake Bay was the biggest, most active estuary in the United States. However, the growth of industry, agriculture, and human population has lead to a decrease in species, livable land and water quality. Through partnerships such as the Choose Clean Water Coalition, the National Wildlife Federation, and other sponsors, conferences like this help build our collective capacity to advance the pace of change  by connecting organizations across the Chesapeake Bay Region.

Thanks to everyone who made this conference wonderful! And Happy Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week! To find out what’s going on in the watershed, click here!

Written by Ayron E. Walker, Foodshed Network Assistant with the Chesapeake Foodshed Network. Ayron is a graduate student at Virginia Tech where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Community and Behavioral Sciences.



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