From the Director
Impact 2021: Change is Here
Climate change isn’t a distant threat—it’s happening n...
Climate change isn’t a distant threat—it’s happening now.
In the United States and all around the world we are seeing the impacts: the accelerated melting of our polar ice caps, deadly heat waves, catastrophic droughts and wildfires, and more frequent and intense storms hitting our coasts—just to name a few symptoms.
The good news is that nature can help.
To match the urgency of this crisis, The Nature Conservancy—including the Maryland/DC chapter—has prioritized innovative solutions that maximize nature’s ability to fight climate change while bolstering resilience for our most precious ecosystems and vulnerable communities.
In 2018, the Maryland/DC chapter launched an ambitious, five-year capital campaign to finance a science-based strategic plan to tackle climate change and protect clean water for the Chesapeake Bay—two conservation priorities where we know our local actions will have the greatest regional and global impacts.
The “Change is Here” five-year, $70-million capital campaign is now more than halfway complete and—thanks to the generous support of some of our most committed donors—I’m thrilled to announce that we have reached nearly 70 percent of our goal.
This impact report highlights some of the chapter’s greatest accomplishments from the past year—accomplishments that were achieved through the focus and energy generated by the Change is Here campaign. As we look ahead at the work we have left to accomplish over the next two years, it’s critical that we reach our private fundraising goal so that we can continue to use those gifts to leverage public dollars and impact investments.
It’s the combination of these funding sources that allows us to have the outsized impact for which The Nature Conservancy is known. Together with supporters like you, we will work with global colleagues to ensure that our legacy is one of action. Join us to be a part of the greatest success story in the history of the planet.
2021 Impact Report: What's Inside
Our goal: to support an agricultural economy where farms provide healthy food, clean water and resiliency to climate change, and support a healthy Chesapeake Bay where people and nature thrive.
Washington, D.C. Goals: A robust stormwater retention credit (SRC) market catalyzed by construction of green infrastructure projects and sale of stormwater credits.
Baltimore Goals: city-wide investments in infrastructure improvements prioritizing nature-based solutions to reduce stormwater runoff impacts on water quality and local flooding and improve coastal climate resilience.
2021 A Year in Photos
Scenes and moments from our on-the-ground conservation work.Support Our Work in Maryland and DC
At A Glance
Family Forest Carbon Program
TNC and the American Forest Foundation have partnered to create The Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), an initiative that is a win-win for landowners, the environment and wildlife. In 2020, the FFCP expanded to Maryland where landowners who own between 30 and 2,400 forested acres in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick or Carroll counties are now eligible to participate.
Restoring Red Spruce
In the spring of 2021, a new project touched down in Western Maryland, where TNC staff, partners and contractors planted more than 10,000 genetically diverse red spruce seedlings on TNC’s Finzel Swamp and Cranesville Swamp preserves. These sites are now part of a larger initiative in the Central Appalachians and will be continually monitored and studied in order to inform future red spruce restoration
Sharing Findings and Research
As the world’s leading conservation science organization, it is critical that TNC scientists and conservation practitioners disseminate important findings and research to the broader scientific community. In 2021, TNC’s Maryland/DC chapter science team published five peer-reviewed studies on topics ranging from fire ecology to soundscape monitoring to decision science. Our conservation and policy work continues to be guided by science.
Green Solutions for Urban Stormwater
Through District Stormwater LLC, TNC and the Knollwood Life Plan Community have collaborated on a new green infrastructure project. The new rain garden will collect stormwater runoff from the facility’s parking lots—an estimated 3 million gallons annually—to help slow and clean the runoff before it flows into Rock Creek and ultimately into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
In 2020, TNC expanded our Build Green Cities program to Baltimore. This fall, we were excited to announce that Isaac Hametz was hired as the Baltimore Program Director. In this role, Isaac will provide strategic leadership in directing our conservation portfolio in Baltimore and managing the new Baltimore Community Project Manager staff member.
In the 2021 legislative session, TNC played a critical role in the passage of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Residential (PACE-R) legislation, which expands on the existing PACE program by allowing residential property owners to finance or refinance projects that remediate environmental issues, improve their properties’ resiliency, increase water efficiency, enhance electric grid resiliency, and/or improve energy efficiency.
Last year, TNC worked with private donors and other partners to purchase more than 5 million surplus farmed oysters from growers in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington state. The oysters purchased from more than 20 Maryland oyster farmers were planted on three sanctuary reefs in the Chesapeake Bay, helping those reefs grow to meet restoration goals.
Collaborating on Regenerative Agriculture
Matthew Houser, Ph.D., was hired as the UMD/TNC Regenerative Agriculture Fellow. His role is a new partnership between TNC and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to build and execute collaborative projects that will advance our collective goals in regenerative agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Make a Difference
Together we can find creative solutions to tackle our most complex conservation challenges and build a stronger future for people and nature. Will you help us continue this work?