In 2017, the Future Fund supported environmental organizations with water quality improvement programs.  One grant of $10,000 was made to the Chesapeake Conservancy.

Arlington LidarThe Chesapeake Conservancy is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring a healthier Chesapeake Bay watershed where fish and wildlife thrive, and everyone enjoys healthy waters and abundant forests, wetlands, shorelines and open spaces. To achieve this mission, the Conservancy serves as a catalyst for change – advancing strong public and private partnerships, developing and using new technology, and driving innovation to protect the watershed. 

With support from the Future Fund, Chesapeake Conservancy will enable Northern Virginia to become an early adopter of the integration of powerful data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their water quality improvement work. The $10,000 grant will be used to match a $15,000 grant from the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program and allow Chesapeake Conservancy to fund technology and outreach staff at the Conservancy to engage stakeholders to understand current water quality challenges and complete 1-meter flow path mapping for Northern Virginia’s 5 county footprint. “Using groundbreaking high-resolution land cover data, we can help community members zoom in at the right scale and identify where conservation and restoration projects could provide the greatest benefit. Ultimately, this project will showcase the power of data to support restoration and protection goals for the Bay watershed and showcase Northern Virginia, already renowned for its strong technology sector, as one of the leading conservation innovation hubs in the Chesapeake," Chesapeake Conservancy Director of Conservation Technology Jeffrey Allenby said.

Chesapeake Conservancy’s work in other regions has created a demonstrable savings-- an estimated $35,000-70,000 in costs previously paid to design green infrastructure projects and hundreds of hours of staff time were saved by a similar project they completed in York County, PA. This program will also use the data set to help local residents understand their impact on the landscape and make better choices on local infrastructure decisions.