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Partner Coordination Tool
This tool was created for the Consortium by the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center to facilitate coordination and collaboration among implementation partners across the James River watershed. Click on tabs to explore a variety of data layers to view progress towards our Watershed Implementation Plan buffer goals, subwatershed boundaries, partner geographies and contact information, and priority areas for restoration.
» Download an overview of the Consortium to learn more (PDF)
Consortium Meeting Summaries
2023 Meeting Summaries & Videos
- May 16 Consortium Meeting Summary: The Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) held its second general meeting of the year on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023. The meeting’s objective was to share knowledge about existing resources and dream of new solutions to protect and to plant urban/non agriculture buffers. Though originally planned as an outside gathering at Peaks View Park in Lynchburg, VA, the meeting was held virtually due to thunderstorms in the forecast. The Consortium thanks Shereen Hughes with the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Program, Nathan Burrell with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, and Brent Hunsinger with Friends of the Rappahannock, who shared their insights and resources on designing, planting, and connecting communities to urban buffers. On Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023 a group met at Peaks View Park in Lynchburg for a stream walk and lesson to learn the basics of stream dynamics, led by Kip Mumaw of Ecosystems Services, LLC. The group then enjoyed a river float down the James River with the James River Association Lynchburg’s educational staff. Thank you to all who participated! See meeting summary.
- February 23 Consortium Meeting Summary: The first 2023 meeting of the Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) took place as a morning virtual meeting, followed by an afternoon field visit on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. Morning meeting participants explored outreach strategies to inspire people to plant riparian forest buffers and were treated to a presentation by Kristen Koch on Penn State Extension’s Backyard Stream Repair program and resources. They heard updates about 2023 Consortium events and projects, including the Riparian Plant Guide with Green Fin Studio and Outreach Team activities with Casey Johnson of the James River Association. Afternoon participants visited a farm in Rockbridge County, enjoying spring-like weather and beautiful surroundings as they learned about the evolution of the property’s buffer, planted in 2009 through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). This site was also one of 29 properties assessed through the James River Stewardship Program in Summer 2022. The group concluded the field visit by conducting tree shelter maintenance. See meeting summary.
2022 Meeting Summaries & Videos
- September 13 Consortium Meeting Summary: The third general meeting of the Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) of 2022 was held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 as an in-person meeting at the Catawba Sustainability Center in Catawba, Virginia. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss buffer maintenance and research, learn more about Catawba’s riparian research on tree shelter and buffer methods, learn about Traditional Ecological Knowledge of stewarding riparian forest buffers, and share Bay-wide perspectives and Buffer Roundtable highlights. Participants were also given an overview of potential research themes before the meeting to discuss priority topics during the meeting. See meeting summary.
- May 19 Consortium Meeting Summary: The second general meeting of the Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) of 2022 was held on Thursday, May 19th, 2022 as a virtual meeting. The purpose of the online meeting was to share and discuss findings around streambank stabilization from a recent interview and report writing process, address challenges and ideas around riparian buffer maintenance, and gather ideas for a fall Buffer Celebration event. An in-person plant walk and field visit was also held in the afternoon at James Monroe’s Highland, with presentations by Joey Thompson of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Anne Marie Roberts with the James River Association, and Highland staff members. See meeting summary as well as the Streambank Stabalization Key Issues Report, and Streambank Stabilization Key Issues One-Pager.
- February 24 Consortium Meeting Summary: The first general meeting of the Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) of 2022 was held on Thursday, February 24th, 2022 as a virtual meeting. The purpose of the online meeting was to develop a greater understanding of the Consortium digital tools, discuss the challenges and next steps to developing greater clarity around reporting buffers, and create space for discussion. See meeting summary as well as Assessment of Drone Use to Inventory Tree Planting Projects, and Virginia Department of Forestry Bay Reporting 101.
2021 Meeting Summaries & Videos
- September 29 Consortium Meeting Summary: The sixth general meeting of the Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) of 2021 was held on Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 as a virtual meeting with an optional, in-person tour of the State Farm buffer project after the meeting. The purpose of the online meeting was to introduce and raise participants’ awareness about the benefits of buffers for source water protection, and how this opens up new opportunities for funding, messaging, and ways to prioritize projects. Meeting attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about current efforts to increase workforce by engaging new partners in training and implementation. An optional site tour at the State Farm was held to showcase how partners are working together at the working farm at a Virginia Department of Corrections facility in Powhatan and Goochland. See meeting summary.
- September 1 Consortium Meeting Summary: The fifth general meeting of the Upper & Middle James Riparian Consortium (Consortium) of 2021 was held on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 as a virtual meeting. The meeting was originally planned as an outdoor meeting in Scottsville including an in-person site tour and then paddle, but switched to a virtual format due to tropical storm conditions. This meeting was a follow-up to the Upper and Middle James Urban Roundtables held virtually in May 2021. The purpose of this follow-up meeting was to encourage and support peer learning, share key themes gathered from partners around urban buffers, and collectively identify priority key actions to tackle urban issues through the strengths of the Consortium. See meeting summary.
- February 18 Action Planning Retreat: The first formal 2021 meeting of the Consortium primarily focused on an overview of the Consortium’s vision, focus, areas, and goals for 2021 and beyond, followed by a series of presentations by each of the Action Team leads and small group discussions where participants took a deep dive into each of the Consortium’s goals and Action Teams: the Knowledge Network, Outreach and Targeting, and Implementation. The content and suggestions will be to develop and refine an Action Plan for the Consortium. See full meeting notes.
- April 22 Consortium Meeting Summary: The second formal 2021 meeting of the Consortium was focused on the Consortium’s outreach and targeting initiatives with presentations by Lisa Fraley-McNeal of the Center for Watershed Protection on their targeting analysis for landowners in several of the watershed’s counties and a facilitated activity around messaging with Paula and Dave Jasinski of GreenFin Studio. See full meeting notes.
- May 12 Middle James Urban Buffer Roundtable Summary: The third general 2021 meeting of the Consortium was an Urban Roundtable focused on stakeholders of the Middle James Watershed. The meeting included small group discussions around opportunities and challenges, and presentations by Amber Ellis of the James River Association on the Consortium’s various tools as well as Laura Greenleaf with the James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force. See full meeting notes »
- May 20 Upper James Urban Buffer Roundtable Summary: The fourth general 2021 meeting of the Consortium was an Urban Roundtable focused on stakeholders of the Upper James Watershed. The meeting included small group discussions around opportunities and challenges and presentations by Amber Ellis of the James River Association on the Consortium’s various tools, as well as Elise Sheffield on Boxerwood’s COREworks and Community Carbon Offsets Program. See full meeting notes »
2020 Meeting Summaries & Videos
- November 2020 Consortium Meeting Summary: The fourth 2020 meeting of the Consortium … primarily focused on the launch of the Riparian Buffer Training and included presentations on applied ecology for forested buffer restoration, an overview around seedling supply and planning, and an evaluation and brief discussion of next steps for the Consortium in 2021. See full meeting notes, and watch video of meeting.
- September 2020 Consortium Meeting Summary: The third 2020 meeting of the Consortium … primarily focused on research priorities, a presentation led by David Wise of Stroud Water Research Center on using stone … See full meeting notes, and watch video of meeting (same content but not actual meeting recording)
- June 2020 Consortium Meeting Summary: The second 2020 meeting of the Consortium … primarily focused on sharing an overview of the Consortium, presenting a video tour of the buffer projects on Scott Hollow Farm, and demonstrating the landowner tool that is being developed by the Chesapeake Conservancy … See full meeting notes »
- March 2020 Consortium Meeting Summary: The first 2020 meeting of the Consortium … primarily focused on developing buffer goals, how Consortium members can collaborate and articulate goals for buffer implementation in the Upper and Middle James watershed, and Action Team updates and outreach strategies. See full meeting notes »
2019 Meeting Summaries
- November Consortium Meeting Summary: The fourth meeting … was held on November 5th, 2019 at Sweet Briar College in Amherst, Virginia … the Consortium discussed and prioritized online tool options for both landowners and practitioners to enhance collaboration, coordination, and implementation … see full meeting notes »
- October Consortium Meeting Summary:The Consortium was held on Thursday, October 24th, 2019 at the Central High School Agriculture Center in Goochland, VA … Stroud Water Research Center led a discussion about research needs for the Consortium, then everyone gathered in small groups to address Action Team goals and strategies … see full meeting notes »
- September Consortium Meeting Summary: The second meeting of the Consortium … was held on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at the Old Dairy Barn Retreat Center in Warm Springs, Virginia … The Consortium Planning Team shared the draft Consortium Goals (see below) and the proposed Action Team Structure … see full meeting notes »
- May Consortium Meeting Summary: The first meeting of the Consortium … was held on Thursday, May 30th, 2019 at Victory Hall in Scottsville, Virginia … Amber Ellis of the James River Association welcomed participants to the meeting and
provided a background of the effort … see full meeting notes »
2022 Summit Meeting Summaries, Videos & Materials
Middle and Upper James Riparian Consortium Buffer Summit 2022, October 20, 2022
- Executive Summary: The fourth annual Buffer Summit of the Middle and Upper James Riparian Consortium was held on October 20th, 2022 as an in-person gathering at Wildrock in Crozet, Virginia. The Buffer Summit included several informative panel presentations and celebratory events to highlight the benefits of buffers. Panel presentations shared knowledge and resources surrounding state buffer goals and initiatives, challenges and opportunities surrounding buffer work for private businesses, and how a Watershed Conservation Corps can be leveraged to fill gaps in capacity. During the Buffer Summit and afternoon Celebration, participants had the opportunity to engage with presenters and each other through robust discussions and networking time, attend outdoor workshops, listen to music by Holy River and enjoy wild-crafted beverages made with riparian plants at the end of the event. Read all »
- Summit Program
2021 Summit Meeting Summaries, Videos & Materials
Upper and Middle James Consortium Buffer Summit 2021, October 2021
- 2021 Buffer Summit Summary: The third annual Buffer Summit of the Middle and Upper James Riparian Consortium was held as an online gathering. The Buffer Summit included several informative panel presentations, keynote speakers on progress made on buffers within the James River Watershed and the multiple benefits of buffers, and a flash networking session for participants. Read all »
- Summit Program
- Video One
- 10:15: Consortium Overview
- 26:01: State of Our Buffers in the James Watershed – An Update on WIP III Progress
- 50:45 Flash Networking Session
- Video Two
- 0:00: Panel 1: For the Love of Plants: Growing Community Support for Native Riparian Species (1:07: Sheren Hughes, CBLP, 4:48: Joshua McLaughlin, DOF Nursery, 18:02: Erin Ling, VT, 28:46: Virginia Witmer, Virginia CZM Program, 42:23 Riparian Plant Guide Large Group Discussion)
- Video Three
- 1:21: Panel 2: Making Buffers Count: Dispelling the Myths and Sharing Tips for Reporting Projects (9:38: Sally Claggett, USFS Liaison to the Chesapeake Bay Program, 19:10: Bill Keeling, Department of Environmental Quality, 28:19: Bryan Hofmann, Friends of the Rappahannock, 38:44: Judy Okay, Consultant to VDOF)
- 52:14: Buffers with Benefits: Carbon, Biodiversity, and Partnerships with Dr. Kristen Dybala
- 1:20:13: Panel 3: Resilient Collaboration: Building Authentic Partnerships and Leaning into Your Gifts (1:21:15: Christine Gyovai, Dialogue + Design,
- 1:28:24: Ruby Stemmle, ecoLatinos, 1:44:21: Lucas Swampdog Tyree, NDPonics)
2020 Summit Meeting Summaries, Videos & Materials
Upper and Middle James Consortium Buffer Summit 2020, October 2020
- 2020 Buffer Summit Summary: The second annual Buffer Summit of the Middle and Upper James Riparian Consortium was held as an online gathering. The Buffer Summit included several lively panel presentations, keynote speakers on biodiversity and restoration, updates on progress made on buffers within the James River Watershed, and a flash networking session for participants. Read all »
- Meeting Agenda
- Full Video Meeting
- 23:19: State of our Buffers in the James Watershed – an update on WIP III progress (James Martin, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality)
- 37:19: Flash networking discussion
- 42:24: Panel 1: Buffers Beyond the Teenage Years: Stewarding your Buffer into Adulthood (Patti Nylander and Lara Johnson, Virginia Department of Forestry; Amber Ellis, James River Association)
- 1:26:20: Panel 2: Why Conservation Makes Sense: Stories from the Field (Bill Braford, Blue Chip Forestry and Farmer in the Upper James; Matt Ehrhart – Stroud Water Research Center)
- 2:11:44: Alluvial/Riparian Natural Plant Communities of our Region: Biodiversity Assessment, Restoration, and Stewardship (Devin Floyd, Center for Urban Habitats)
- 2:43:51: DCR perspective (Jim Echols, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)
- 3:00:06: Panel 3: Reimagining the Conservation WorkForce: Restoring Communities and Water Quality (Christopher Rashad Green, Free*Dome Unlimited, Shea Zwerver – Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources)
2019 Summit Meeting Summary
Upper and Middle James Consortium Buffer Summit 2019, October 2019
- 2019 Buffer Summit Summary: The Consortium held the first Annual Buffer Summit at the BARN Agricultural Center in Buckingham, Virginia on October 23rd, 2019 … practitioners and professionals gathered to listen to presentations and share their stories and ideas. Read all »
2023 Urban Buffer Key Issues Report
This is an updated version of the Key Issues Report, which took the ideas and feedback uncovered through a meeting with PDCs in May 2021 and multiple Roundtables with stakeholders in May and September, and highlighted top identified opportunities and challenges for buffers in urban and developed landscapes.
Riparian Consortium Annual Report – July 2021 – June 2022
This report includes updates on Consortium teams, events and projects, and a report on watershed implementation plan progress.
Dynamics Between Riparian Buffers and Streambank Erosion Interventions – A Key Issues Report on Streambank Stabilization
This report focuses on key challenges, concerns, resources, and future needs regarding streambank stabilization in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, particularly in the Middle and Upper James watershed, through the lens of stakeholder interviews.
Streambank Stabilization Key Issues Report – Possible Roles for the Consortium
This one-pager outlines possible consortium roles.
Riparian Consortium Annual Report – January 2019 – June 2021
This report includes Consortium team and project updates, as well as a report on watershed implementation plan progress.
Consortium Action Plan
This Action Plan serves to outline the goals, action strategies, and implementation plan for actualizing these priorities within the Consortium.
Consortium Guiding Document
This Guiding Document serves to outline the process, vision, goals, structure, and partner roles within the Upper and Middle James Riparian Consortium.
2019 Key Issues Report
This Report outlines the results of phone interviews conducted by Dialogue + Design Associates with key stakeholders to learn more about riparian restoration challenges and opportunities, potential partners, tools and resources, as well as specific ideas for the direction of the Middle and Upper James Riparian Consortium.
Equitable Collaboration Resources
Institute for Conservation Resource’s Collaboration Hub
Chesapeake Bay Program’s Diversity Workgroup
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Justice and Equity Dashboard (Beta)
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice (DEIJ) Terminology Communications Guide (PDF)
Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing (PDF)
Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative