SHEPHERDSTOWN - Joe Tieger not only drove all the way from Port Tobacco in southern Charles County, Md., to attend the Chesapeake Watershed Forum this weekend at the National Conservation Training Center outside Shepherdstown, he also paid his own way.
"They have some really worthwhile programs," he said Friday after one of the seminars. "There's an amazing amount of information and a lot of really bright people. It's worth it."
Tieger is a member of the Port Tobacco River Conservancy, a volunteer group working to restore that tidal tributary of the Potomac River.
The forum is hosted by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, attracting about 350 participants from throughout the watershed region.
Tieger was most interested in seminars dealing with water quality issues and urbanization's impact on water quality.
"We have to deal with what's being developed, what's going to be developed and retrofitting what has been constructed," he explained. "Growth is a burden on our resources, and developers have to pay their fair share."
Several of the seminars offered at the forum dealt with stormwater management, which is one of the areas targeted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay "pollution diet."
Land developers are facing new rules to control stormwater runoff during both pre- and post-construction as part of the EPA's efforts to reduce pollution in the bay.
Also, already developed residential and commercial sites might have to install new stormwater management infrastructure to meet the stricter EPA requirements.