Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters, Healthy People was the theme of the 12th annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum held at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Integrity Team USA was present along with hundreds of committed watershed stewards to share their research and initiatives on the topics of restoration science and practice, watershed conservation, organizational development and fundraising, Chesapeake forests, communications and advocacy, and citizen and community engagement.
“Public health and/or cooperation emerged as themes in just about every presentation. It didn’t matter whether a talk was on fund raising, financing, marketing, or community engagement,” said Integrity Team USA’s Lynn Fitzpatrick.
Integrity Team USA’s platform to collaborate with the regional watershed stewards and those with a presence in Washington, D.C. was revealed during the Forum and was received with enthusiasm. Integrity’s Watershed Moments/Healthy Oceans Maritime Festivals, which will focus on marine debris and plastics, are multiday festivals in which businesses, NGO’s, and other organizations throughout the watershed are invited to host a fun, fund-raising event as part of the festival. A portion of the proceeds of the festival will be applied toward a collective direct action effort that positively enhances the Bay, the watershed, and everything living in them.
“In today’s world, the best way to reach the masses is through sport and entertainment,” commented Fitzpatrick. “Integrity will organize the on the water events, however, we know how important it is to program the activities on land with crowd pleasers. That’s where collaborating with the watershed stewards and their healthy network comes into play. By working together, we will engage, excite, educate, and inspire a larger audience.”