Abstract: Opening Plenary Session  2:35 pm (BACK)

Stream Restoration Drivers – Habitat & Species

Amanda Bassow
National Fish & Wildlife Federation

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) pools funding from a range of public and private sources to achieve conservation results. NFWF has developed an approach to maximizing the conservation impact of the dollars we invest, while also meeting multiple funders’ objectives. This approach involves establishing numeric goals for improving habitat and increasing populations of keystone species in geographies of mutual interest to NFWF and our funding partners.

In late 2012 NFWF’s Board adopted a new business plan for the Chesapeake Bay business plan outlines a comprehensive strategy to guide NFWF’s conservation investments in the Chesapeake Bay through the year 2025. It sets clear and achievable conservation goals that will enhance the resiliency of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem; increase populations of keystone species; reduce harmful pollutants from entering streams, rivers and the Bay; and aim to reduce the costs of the recovery effort. This strategy builds on more than 10 years of investing in the Chesapeake Bay through NFWF’s Chesapeake Stewardship Fund.

An underlying hypothesis of this strategy is that by focusing investments in targeted sub-watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay, NFWF and its partners can simultaneously achieve measurable water quality improvements, fish and wildlife habitat enhancements and recover threatened freshwater and marine fish species. The business plan focuses on the recovery of four keystone species that historically have been present in a subset of the 16 targeted watersheds: oysters, crabs, river herring and Eastern Brook Trout. These species were selected because their populations have been dramatically reduced, they are important species from a cultural and economic perspective and they serve as important indicators of the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams.