Why the Chesapeake region?
Defining boundaries is always fraught with challenges. States and counties distinguish policies, but not necessarily markets or ecosystems. Metropolitan areas distinguish where people live, but not necessarily where their food or water comes from. River basins distinguish where environmental inputs come from, but not necessarily where those impacts are felt. The Chesapeake region is not just a watershed; it’s a shared body of water that offers an identity and culture for where a LOT of people live, work, and play. It’s also a watershed that has been prioritized for action — and for good reasons.
There are a lot of organizations working on food systems in this region with many different goals, missions, business models, priority regions, etc. At the most basic level, one thing they have in common is place. Defining the boundary for this food system network as the whole Chesapeake region creates a large tent where everyone can see their role and impact in working towards a common agenda.