Chesapeake Bay Welcomes China
E-Newsletter for the Chesapeake Bay Field Office

 

Chinese delegation at South River Greenway. USFWS photo.
On May 8, eleven Chinese natural resources officials visited the Chesapeake Bay Field Office. Their goal was to gain a better understanding of the wetland laws and policies, how we use these laws to benefit wetlands and how we monitor wetland restoration. This visit was facilitated under U.S. – People’s Republic of China (PRC) Protocol on Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Conservation of Nature, signed in 1986.

The Chinese delegation came to the Chesapeake Bay Field Office (CBFO) to learn about the Service’s programs dealing with wetland regulation, restoration and protection. At CBFO, the delegation had the opportunity to learn about the Coastal Program, the Nutria Eradication efforts, Clean Water Act, Stream Habitat Restoration, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and strategic planning. We also had presentations from the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership, Anne Arundel County and the Scenic Rivers Land Trust highlighting the importance of local governments and private organizations in wetland regulation, restoration and protection.

After presentations and lively discussions, the next few days were spent in the field. They visited Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, hosted by the Refuge Manager Suzanne Baird.  There, they saw not only refuge management but also the direct effects of sea level rise on wetlands. The Chinese delegation had many questions about management techniques, landownership, and the issues around recreational use of the natural resources. Steve Kendrot from USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) gave an overview of the Chesapeake Bay Nutria Eradication Program.

On Sunday, the group headed out to the South River Greenway project near Annapolis, Maryland. There we were hosted by the Scenic Rivers Land Trust a private, non-profit organization chartered for the protection of land through voluntary methods such as conservation. At the Greenway, they were educated on a how a public-private partnership conserves wetlands and their associated uplands.

International visitors view wetland restoration at Poplar Island. USFWS photo
International visitors view restoration at Poplar Island. USFWS photo

Their visit ended on the Chesapeake Bay. The delegation toured Poplar Island, a large-scale habitat restoration project using beneficial dredge material. They were extremely interested in the process, techniques and experiences in designing and managing this habitat management project. After that the group toured a series of private lands wetland restorations. The Chinese were very interested in the funding and landowner contribution of voluntary restoration projects. 

CBFO biologists Rich Mason and Al Rizzo explain a wetland restoration project to visitors. USFWS photo.
CBFO biologists Rich Mason and Al Rizzo explain a wetland restoration project to visitors. USFWS photo.
Last updated: January 11, 2012