Our Conference

May 23-24, 2017
Charlottesville, Virginia



Join us for the 8th Annual Choose Clean Water Conference May 23-24 in Charlottesville, Virginia. This year, the conference will focus on ways that we as an environmental community can not only make a difference at the grassroots level, but collaborate and work as one. Now more than ever, we recognize how important it is to think local and act together.

This year's conference will feature presentations from around the watershed, focused on issues related to agriculture, communications, climate change, diversity, equity and inclusion, and more!

Full conference registration includes access to all sessions, breakfast and lunch on both days, and your choice of one off-site field trip. It also gives you a ticket to the evening reception being held at The Jefferson Theater in Downtown Charlottesville. 

Registration for the 8th Annual Choose Clean Water Conference is now OPEN!

Early-bird registration and prices end on April 21 so register today!

Register for the conference here!

Support clean water by being a conference sponsor!

Download the 
brochure and form
or use our online form here!


Remember to book your room for the conference. 



8:00 AM  Registration Opens

9:00 AM  Welcome to Charlottesville - Mayor Michael Signer

9:15 AM  Breakfast with Opening Plenary - Mustafa Ali

10:00 AM Two Hour Workshops

Track 1: Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI)/ Environmental Justice (EJ)

Walking the Talk: Applying an Environmental Justice Lens to Break Through to a New
Community - Maryland League of Conservation Voters

Track 2: Agriculture

Innovative Approaches: Environment, Communications & Farming - Fair Farms and Waterkeepers Chesapeake

Track 3: Communications

Survey Says: Using Polling to Frame Communications Campaigns

Track 4: Collaboration

Diversifying Your Partnership: The Anacostia Experience - Anacostia Watershed Society, Zion Baptist Church of Eastland Gardens, East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, Anacostia Waterfront Trust

12:00 PM Lunch with Plenary (TBA)

1:00 PM One Hour Sessions

Track 1: DEI/EJ

Tools for EJ: Authentic Community Engagement (facilitated panel) - Trash Free MD, National Aquarium, Audubon Naturalist Society

Track 2: Agriculture

Agriculture and America's Best Idea - National Parks Conservation Association

Track 3: Communications

Conservation Through Aviation - SouthWings

Track 4: Collaboration

Public Access for Profit...And Not- Piedmont Environmental Council, Rivanna Conservation Alliance, Grelen Nursery, Rivanna River Company, City of Charlottesville


2:00 PM Field Trips

Pollacks Branch Walkable Watershed Walking Tour - SKEO, James River Association, City of Charlottesville
Walking tour of Charlottesville 

Jefferson's River: An Economic & Community Asset - James River Association, Rivanna River Company
Kayaking trip

Stream Monitoring: Engaging People & Influencing Decision-makers - Rivanna Conservation Alliance, Audubon Naturalist Society, Izaak Walton League
Macroinvertebrate collection and identification, and bacteria monitoring and identification.

Birds-eye view of the Rappahannock Basin - Piedmont Environmental Council, Ecosystem Services, Friends of the Rappahannock, Grelen Nursery
Moderate hike along Montpelier-Grelen Trail 

Fly With SouthWings - SouthWings
Areal tour of Charlottesville and surrounding area 

Flying a Drone for Conservation - Back Creek Conservancy, Severn River Association
Drone presentation and interactive demonstration 

Stormwater Success: Tour of The Dell at University of Virginia - University of Virginia
A walking tour of the award winning stormwater BMP The Dell 

Art for Consertvation - ariadnART
Learn and share your experiences with the Chesapeake Bay watershed through a painting session at the Omni 



8:00 AM  Breakfast Roundtables
Public Need and Necessity for Natural Gas Pipelines: Is there a Need? - Kirk Bowers, Sierra Club
The Land, Water, Food Connection - Caitlin Wall, Potomac Conservancy, Jennifer Miller Herzog, Land Trust Alliance, and Kristen Suokko, Local Food Hub
Stormwater Success Stories - TBA
Holding Our Elected Officials Accountable- Peter Marx, Choose Clean Water Coalition and Maddie Urbish, New Jersey Audubon
Choose Clean Water Coalition Communications Work Group Meeting 
Young Professionals of Color Mentorship Program Meeting 

9:00 AM  Breakfast Keynote- TBA

10:00 AM One Hour Sessions

Track 1: DEI/EJ

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion WorkShop -Chesapeake Bay Funders Network DEI Draft Strategic Plan Review - SKEO, Choose Clean Water, Chesapeake Bay Funders Network

Track 2: Stormwater

RiverWise Education - Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Track 3: Communications

TBA- West Virginia Rivers Coalition

Track 4: Collaboration

Better Together: Lessons Learned From the Merger of Two Local Watershed Group - Rivanna Conservation Alliance, Water Words that Work

11:00 AM One Hour Sessions

Track 1: DEI/EJ

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion WorkShop -Chesapeake Bay Funders Network DEI Draft Strategic Plan Review - SKEO, Choose Clean Water, Chesapeake Bay Funders Network

Track 2: Stormwater

This Is Stormwater Jeoprady! James River Association and Choose Clean Water Coalition

Track 3: Communications

Making Connections in an Ecosystem- Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Track 4: Collaboration

TBA - Land Trust Alliance and Piedmont Environmental Council

12:00 PM Lunch - Panel Discussion by League of Conservation Voters

1:00 PM One Hour Session

Track 1: DEI/EJ

Building Cultural Competence - SKEO

Track 3: Communications

How to Sell Riparian Buffers to Farmers - Bobby Whitescarver 

Track 4: Collaboration

Designing for Coastal Climate Resilience - University of Virginia