2023 Bay-wide Stormwater Partners Retreat

2023 Bay-wide Stormwater Partners Retreat

On April 12-14th, CSN and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation hosted the 11th biennial Bay-wide Stormwater Partners Retreat. The event brought together 150 of the region’s leading stormwater professionals to discuss challenges and successes in the sector, and what we can look forward to in the coming years. In this post, you can find copies of all of the event’s presentations:


Opening Plenary Session: Stormwater and The Chesapeake Bay Partnership in 2025 and Beyond.

  • Adam Ortiz – EPA Regional Administrator: Region 3
  • Anna Killius – Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission
  • Kate Fritz – Executive Director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay


MS4 Roundtable. This panel discussion will focus on the successes and flops from MS4s around the Bay watershed over the past few years. Panelists from different sized communities will offer perspectives on where we are heading, how can we improve future permits, and more.

  • Matt Gallagher, District Department of Energy and Environment (DC)
  • Amy Stevens, Montgomery County (MD)
  • Jared Tomlin, City of Martinsburg (WV)
  • Monique Dykman, Londonderry Township (PA)
  • Pam Shellenberger, York County Planning Commission (PA)
  • Chelsey Weyant, Blair County Conservation District (PA)

MS4 Roundtable_Combined Presentations

Urban Nutrients and Sediments: Where Do They Come From and Where are They Going? It has now been 10 years since the Urban Nutrient Management Expert Panel report was approved. In the years since, changes to the Chesapeake Bay Program’s modeling tools, new statewide fertilizer legislation, and the adoption of a BMP verification framework have created a need to revisit how we think about urban nutrient application. This presents us an opportunity to take a step back and discuss not only what we know about where urban fertilizer is coming from and how it is being applied across the watershed, but how sediment tracing studies can inform our bigger picture view of urban watershed management in the Chesapeake.

  • David Wood, CSN
  • Lee McDonnell, U.S. EPA, Chesapeake Bay Program Office
  • Allan Gellis, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Mark Dubin, University of Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Program Office

Nutrients and Sediments_Combined Presentations

Successful Collaborations in Urban Implementation. Through partnerships and collaborative models of engagement and project delivery, both small and large communities can increase the impact of their restoration efforts. This session will showcase a series of exemplary Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction (INSR) NFWF grantees and some transferrable lessons from their projects.

  • Kristen Saacke-Blunk, Headwaters LLC
  • Jodi Rose, Interfaith Partners of the Chesapeake
  • Allyson Gibson, Lancaster Clean Water Partners
  • Christine Gyovai, Dialogue+Design

Bay-Wide Forum on Collaborations

More Meaningful Community Engagement. Meaningful community engagement is critical to the ultimate success of our restoration programs. Developing relationships with community members and key stakeholders will help ensure that we are addressing actual needs, considering diverse perspectives, and growing a network of stewards who will ultimately improve the long-term success of our projects. In this session, we will discuss new research on how our community engagement and outreach efforts affect the success of our stormwater work, and hear several examples of successful models for effective engagement.

  • Mahsa Adib, Pennsylvania State University
  • Joe Rieger, Elizabeth River Project
  • Charles Smith, Fairfax County (VA)
  • Terryl Acker-Carter, Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy

Community Engagement_Combined Presentations

Beyond Nutrients. There is, of course, more to stormwater management than nutrients and sediments! In this session, we will focus on a range of other pollutants to hear about advancements in the science and management of plastics, chlorides, and PFAS in stormwater.

  • Joel Moore, Towson University
  • Trevor Needham, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Phong Trieu, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
  • Marty Hurd, Fairfax County (VA)

Beyond Nutrients_Combined Slides

Next Gen Stormwater Training. In response to a need for more organizational capacity, a more diverse workforce, and stronger stormwater programs, we now have more training programs available than ever before. But as we move forward, there is also a need to make sure that as training and capacity building organizations, we coordinate to ensure we maximize our reach and impact in an efficient way. In this session, we will discuss efforts to grow the capacity of training organizations, offer complimentary training programs, and promote pathways to diverse employment opportunities in the watershed restoration field.

  • Lea Spencer, Center for Watershed Protection
  • Beth Ginter, Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals
  • James Hunter, Morgan State University
  • Jenny McGarvey, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Next Gen Training_Combined Presentations

Investing in the Bay Urban Sector over the Next 5 Years. Given the big expected increase in federal and other funding for Bay restoration over the next few years, this panel will discuss perspectives on the best places, practices and partnerships to fund to get the most out of this major investment.

  • Joe Toolan, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (No slides)
  • Peter Marx, Choose Clean Water Coalition
  • Sadie Drescher, Chesapeake Bay Trust (No slides)

Investing Panel_Marx Presentation

Urban Soil Health. Land disturbance from urban development has taken a significant toll on soils across the region due to compaction, contaminants, and inefficient vegetated landscape management. Consideration to maintain and restore healthy soils on developed land is lacking in current environmental regulations, community priorities and among the general population. This panel will discuss the importance of urban soil restoration along with several case studies and recent examples of efforts to improve local urban soil health.

  • David Hirschman, Hirschman Water and Environment, LLC (No slides)
  • Kateri Simon, Luck Ecosystems
  • Jason Papacosma, Arlington County (VA)
  • Chris Fields-Johnson, Davey Trees
  • Cecilia Lane, District Department of Energy and Environment

Urban Soil Health_Combined presentations

Climate Change and Stormwater: Ramping up Resilient Implementation: In our first session devoted to climate change and stormwater, we will focus on efforts across the watershed to support the implementation of more climate-resilient stormwater practices through the use of new tools like the climate-informed projected IDF curves. We will hear a report on what barriers remain, and efforts to update state and local guidance on climate resilient stormwater design.

  • Krista Romita-Grocholski, RAND (No slides)
  • James Dunbar, District Department of Energy and Environment
  • Jenn Aiosa, Baltimore County (MD)
  • Stew Comstock, Maryland Department of the Environment

Climate Implementation_combined presentations

Evaluating the Stormwater Sector Heading into 2025. In this interactive session, participants will be invited to discuss where the stormwater sector stands toward meeting our load reduction goals and give a candid assessment of where and how we fell short. More importantly, we will turn to the future to discuss strategies to do a better job in the future.

  • Tom Schueler, CSN
  • Norm Goulet, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Evaluating the Urban Sector Presentation Slides

Climate Change and Stormwater: Coastal Stormwater Management. Managing stormwater in the coastal plain presents is own set of design challenges, which are only exacerbated with the combined effects of sea level rise and increased precipitation. This session will focus on what stormwater practices are working and not working, some potential considerations for future coastal design adaptations, and possible innovative approaches to dealing with the challenges of coastal stormwater management.

  • Ben McFarlane, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
  • David Wood, CSN
  • Franco Montalto, Drexel University
  • Beth Groth, Charles County (MD)

Coastal Climate Presentations_combined

UDEL Stakeholder Panel: Developing More Effective and Equitable Green Infrastructure Strategies. This interactive session is in support of partners from the University of Delaware. Participants will work with the project team to provide feedback on the challenges surrounding green infrastructure implementation and how to prioritize what social, behavioral, economic, policy, and/or hydrologic research is needed to develop more effective and equitable GI strategies.

  • Becca Nixon, University of Delaware
  • Carolyn Voter, University of Delaware