The Art of the Merge with ShoreRivers Jeff Horstman

While it could be said that the proverbial writing was on the wall for some time, the Sassafras, Chester River and Mid-Shore Riverkeepers, and their affiliated organizations, were getting a pretty clear message over the last three years from their major institutional funders that these three, very similar enterprises must consider consolidation for the best possible mission delivery.

As a result of this welcomed nudge, representatives of each group began to meet eighteen months ago to discuss the logistics of this somewhat complicated merging of functions and governance. But inevitably the most exciting part was when these organizations could start to see the raw power that could be achieved by the change. Not only regarding protecting their beloved river sheds but also have a far greater presence in Annapolis and the halls of Congress to pursue their advocacy work.

It fell on Jeff Horstman, the current director of the Mid-Shore Riverkeeper Conservancy, to manage the process which ultimately led to the creation of ShoreRivers.  And he will become its executive director at the beginning of the new year.

The Spy felt it was a good time to sit down with Jeff and talk about how the process, as well as the delicacy and sensitivity needed as these three very different cultures with very similar goals, become a new nucleus.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about the new ShoreRivers please go here

Bay Conservationists and Legislators Attempt to Find Common Ground at ESCC Town Hall Meeting

There could not be a better example how useful the new Eastern Shore Conservation Center is for the Mid-Shore than last night’s Town Hall meeting between the Eastern Shore’s leading conservation organizations and members of the State of Maryland’s Senate and General Assembly.

While it was hard to say there was a breakthrough for the State’s conservation agenda, the fact that so many diverse parties could gather together under the same roof to share ideas on how best to protect the Chesapeake Bay was an encouraging signal that progress could be made over the next twelve months in Annapolis.

During the two-hour program, representatives from the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, The MidShore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Preservation Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters highlighted their top legislative priorities for 2017. And in response, Maryland State Senators Adelaide Eckardt and James Mathias, Jr. along with Delegates Chris Adams and Johnny Mautz, summarized where they saw common ground as well as a few differences in priorities and long-term strategies.

The Spy was there to capture some of the highlights.

This video is approximately thirty-five minutes in length