Protecting Water Quality
Through Actions on
Urban-Suburban Properties

February 13-14, 2013
Williamsburg, VA

With 179 people attending, the Summit was a unique convening of a diverse group of interests, experiences, and perspectives from government, non-profit, research, education and private sectors. All assembled for two days to join forces to tackle one the most difficult but necessary water quality challenges for Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay Region: achieving a widespread, accelerated use of watershed restoration and stormwater retrofit best management practices (BMPs) on privately owned urban-suburban properties.

The final report on the summit is now available on-line  (click on image of report cover to download .pdf of full report)

Executive Summary can be downloaded HERE.

Appendices can be downloaded HERE.


Final Summit Agenda (.pdf download)
Speaker Biographies (.pdf download)
Resources (.pdf download)
Open Space Instructions (.pdf download)
River Wise Summary (.pdf download)
Wetlands Watch/HRPDC Study executive summary (.pdf download)


This Summit will bring together a diverse group of watershed organizations, local, state, and federal government representatives, engineers, landscape businesses and professionals, and volunteers to find opportunities for better collaboration and sharing of resources…and to envision a “Path Forward” to protecting water quality and restoring watersheds through actions in Virginia’s urban and suburban communities.

Virginia localities are working hard to meet the challenge of achieving Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration and stormwater pollution reduction goals for developed private and public lands in urban and suburban communities. We are seeing an increased effort by many different groups to locally promote and implement onsite, watershed restoration and stormwater reduction practices, including stormwater retrofits: rain gardens, native plant buffers, permeable pavers, planting trees, green roofs, etc… to help meet these goals. All these efforts, government and non-government, need long-term, financially viable strategies and more citizens support. And all of these efforts would benefit from collaboration and networking.


Through presentations and professionally facilitated discussions, Summit participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Build a Common Understanding of the barriers and challenges of coordinating efforts and using landscape-type practices for regulatory compliance.

  • Discover innovative initiatives that use partnerships, social marketing techniques, and incentives to build capacity and overcome barriers.

  • Discover and inform the development of emerging technology, tools, and resources..

  • Network to share knowledge of lessons learned and resources, such as guidance documents, tools, and training, of the “best” programs and practices.

  • Discuss long-term, viable financing needs and strategies.

  • Find ways to empower and increase certified businesses and contractors to provide goods and trained services.

  • Identify ways to coordinate, train and empower more volunteers.

     Participants will become part of the solution and begin to form a coalition of efforts needed to restore watersheds and protect water quality in Virginia. They will leave with increased knowledge about the tools and techniques currently available while better connected to available resources and others in their community, region, and state striving to achieve the same goals.


The content and direction for this Summit is being set by a diverse group of stakeholders listed below (identifying agencies for affiliation purposes only):

Katherine Antos– Chesapeake Bay Program Office of the US Environmental Protection Agency

Barbara Brumbaugh
 - Environmental Quality Coordinator with the City of Chesapeake
Public Works Department Stormwater Management Division)

Scott Crafton - Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Nissa Dean - Virginia Director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Frank Dukes - Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia

Karen Forget - Executive Director of Lynnhaven River NOW

Tanya Denckla Cobb - Associate Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia

Eric Gunderson –Southern Branch Nursery

Shereen Hughes - Deputy Director, Wetlands Watch

Cecilia Lane – Chesapeake Stormwater Network

Erin Ling - Virginia Tech, Virginia Household Water Quality Program

Pamela Mason - Center for Coastal Resources Management, Virginia Institute for Marine Science

Brian Noyes  - Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District

Joe Rieger - Deputy Director of Restoration for Elizabeth River Project

Skip Stiles - Executive Director, Wetlands Watch

Megan Tierney - Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent and Master Gardener & Master Naturalist Coordinator, Hampton, VA

Jenny Tribo – Senior Water Resource Planner Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Julie Winters - Chesapeake Bay Program Office of the US Environmental Protection Agency

Background Material

Wetlands Watch produced an extensive study on the use of these practices under a contract with the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, through a Virginia Coastal Zone Management Grant.  The study's executive summary can be accessed HERE.  The full study can be downloaded from the HRPDC website (large file).


A Collaborative Summit

Protecting Water Quality through Actions on Urban-Suburban Properties

Hosted by: Wetlands Watch, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, VIMS Center for Coastal Resources Management, UVA Institute for Environmental Negotiation, and Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program

Our Sponsors




Hosted and Sponsored by:



Protecting Water Quality
through Actions

on Urban-Suburban Properties



we've collected some great videos to inspire and inform you about watershed & habitat restoration and stormwater retrofit topics - and we need more of them on:

Register Now!
 click here to register through VIMS

Date and Time:
Wednesday Feb. 13 - 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
4:30 - 6:30 pm - Social Mixer
Thursday Feb. 14 - 9:00 am – 2:45 pm
Location Upgrade!
Williamsburg Lodge
310 South England Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Hosted and Sponsored by:



Funded by: National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and The Campbell Foundation grants & the US Environmental Protection Agency
About the Summit

This Summit is a grassroots effort, bringing together a diverse group of 200 people all actively engaged in efforts to increase the use of actions (best management practices) on private property that protect water quality and restore watersheds and habitats in Virginia's urban-suburban communities...actions like rain gardens, permeable pavement, living shorelines, native plant buffers, conservation landscaping, green roofs, tree plantings, rain barrels or cisterns, wetlands restoration, etc. 

It is TIME to join forces, share successes, challenges, and resources and find opportunities to coordinate efforts. This Summit, through professionally facilitated presentations and interactive discussions seeks to begin to build a coalition of efforts and envision a "Path Forward" needed to restore our watersheds and protect water quality in Virginia that:
Provides Virginia localities with long-term, viable strategies to meet the Chesapeake Bay cleanup and stormwater pollution reduction goals for developed private property.

Facilitates a sustainable widespread, voluntary adoption of actions by private property owners particularly on developed urban-suburban properties.

Values and supports our individual strengths and goals whether it's regulatory compliance, business growth, urban forests, increased stewardship, clean waters, landscape beautification, healthy habitats, people, and wildlife.

Identifies and overcomes common barriers.

Is long-term and financially sustainable.

Inspires and informs new efforts and programs.

Visit our website for more details including a DRAFT AGENDA 
or contact Shereen Hughes via phone (757-880-6802) or email.
Joe Battiata, Center for Watershed Protection   
James Davis-Martin, VA DCR
Nissa Dean, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Shereen Hughes, Wetlands Watch
Christin Jolicoeur, Arlington Co. StormwaterWise Landscapes & Green Streets programs
Richard Klein, Community & Environmental Defense Services
Erin Ling, Virginia Tech
Amanda Rockler, University of Maryland
Tom Schueler, Chesapeake Stormwater Network
Skip Stiles, Wetlands Watch
Registration Fees
2-Day - $85 to $75
1-Day - $55 to $50 
Fees include a morning coffee/reception, breaks, lunches, & misc. summit materials. Day One includes a cash-bar/social mixer with sponsor's exhibits.

PLEASE NOTE: Your participation is important...if costs are an issue, please contact us, we hope to offer limited financial assistance.

click here to register through VIMS

Hotel Reservations 
Group Rates available at the Woodlands Hotel & Suite (incl. breakfast):
$79/night (double) or $96/night (suite)
Call 1-800-261-9531; Group Rate: 26092

Our Sponsors

Southern Branch Nursery
Your Logo
be Here!

Interested in
Sponsoring the Summit?

click here for details

Wetlands Watch, Inc. • PO Box 9335 •Norfolk, VA 23505 • 757.623.4835 (office/fax)