Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum

Event Information: Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum, November 3, Shepherdstown, WV

On Saturday, the ALLARM team took a road trip to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to participate in the annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum, organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The conference took place over three days, from November 2nd until the 4th, and included multiple representatives of change-making organizations, watershed stewards, environmentally concerned professionals, and active students. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with others who have similar priorities when it comes to the importance of water quality monitoring and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

I was able to attend three inspiring panels during the day; a discussion about the impact of plastics on waterbodies, a workshop to strengthen my skills in working as part of a team and networking as a professional woman, and an information session about the specific conservation of marshes and wetlands. It was interesting for me to hear perspectives on these topics that came from a context outside of the classroom or work environment.

At the end of the day, ALLARM offered its very own “Streams 101” workshop. I was able to help with this session by overseeing the macroinvertebrates table. Participants could look at the several preserved macroinvertebrate samples from the site and work to identify the organism with reference books, morphological trait charts, and the website. Other components of the workshop included a visit to the Potomac River, which runs along the facility where the forum was held. This included visual assessment of the stream, as well as a chemical monitoring station where the collected stream sample was analyzed. A personal highlight was seeing the reactions of the participants when they looked at the magnified features of the macros under the light microscope! Overall, this forum was a beneficial opportunity for me to collaborate with like-minded people during a weekend of exploration and learning from each other.

 Participants learning about visual stream assessment