Tentative Daily Schedule

The below schedule is from the canceled 2020 conference and is for reference only, although we hope to bring back as many sessions as possible for 2021.  This page will contain a handy downloadable chart of all the breakout sessions by day and time with corresponding track icons.  We will feature the listings of each breakout session with descriptions of each, moderator names, and presenter names.  

Download the Breakout Sessions Matrix.

Tuesday, March 23rd     

            7:00 am - 12:30 pm                 OPTIONAL Pre-conference guided hike to House Mountain by Virginia Outdoors Foundation        

                                                                   SEE BELOW

            10:00 am - 1:00 pm                 OPTIONAL Pre-conference workshop: Virginia's Regional Collaborative Partnerships – Raising the Bar

                                                                   to Meet the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Goals    SEE BELOW

            11:30 am - 1:00 pm                 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards luncheon (must register to attend)

            1:00 pm                                       Attendee Registration opens

            1:30 pm –3:30 pm                   DEQ Regulatory Updates       

            3:45 pm –5:00 pm                   Breakout Session A    

            5:15 - 6:00 pm                          Moderated interview with Secretary Ring and Secretary Strickler

            6:00 pm –7:30 pm                   Main Reception

            Dinner on your own


Wednesday, March 24                                    

                7:00 am                                    Registration / Breakfast

                7:00 am - 5:00 pm                 Exhibit Hall Open            

                9:00 am                                    Opening Ceremony

                9:15 am – 9:45 am                Keynote Speaker: Governor Ralph Northam

                10:00 am –11:00 am             Breakout Session B

                11:15 am - 12:15 pm             Careers in the Environment (special session)      

                11:15 am - 12:30 pm             Breakout Session C

                11:30 am - 2:00 pm               Lunch   

                1:00 pm - 2:00 pm                 Breakout Session D         

                2:15 pm - 3:45 pm                 Breakout Session E         

                4:00 pm - 5:00 pm                 Breakout Session F         

                5:00 pm - 6:00 pm                 Light Refreshments/Networking

                5:30 – 7:30 pm                       5-Star Reception – Invite only

                Dinner on your own


Thursday, March 25                                        

                7:00 am - 8:30 am                     Registration / Breakfast  

                7:00 am – 8:30 am                     Women Involved in the Environment Breakfast

                7:00 am - 8:00 am                      5K Run and 1-mile Walk (optional)

                7:00 am - 12:30 pm                    Exhibit Hall Open           

                8:45 am                                          Plenary Speaker: August Ritter, Program Director, The Sustainability Accelerator at The Nature


                9:30 am                                          Erchul Environmental Excellence Award    

                10:00 am – 11:00                        Breakout Session G        

                11:15 am - 12:30 pm                 Breakout Session H         

                12:30 –1:30                                   Buffet Lunch/Networking


Virginia's Regional Collaborative Partnerships – Raising the Bar to Meet the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Goals

Are you interested in effective collaborations to meet your environmental goals? Join us for an in-depth pre-conference workshop on Tuesday, March 31 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Lunch included.

Virginia’s water quality partners are invited to join UVA Institute for Engagement and negotiation (IEN), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and a host of watershed practitioners who are leading and facilitating Virginia’s regional collaboratives for improving watershed health and reducing pollution loads in their respective communities for a pre-symposium workshop. 

We will explore the research, best practices, and the mechanisms for major pollution reduction opportunities for the Commonwealth through the intentional development and enhancement of partnerships that can collectively and more efficiently advance water quality.  These geographically or practice-based partnerships are seeking to build new relationships, approaches, and boost coordinated efforts to accelerate water quality improvements, bringing together multi-sector and diverse stakeholders, and investments that have leveraged nearly $12 million over the past couple of years.

Participants in this three-hour hour workshop will explore common knowledge gathered around what makes collaboratives work, the attributes necessary for building and sustaining efforts, and have an opportunity to hear from and interact with eight existing and emerging efforts that span the Virginia geography and are working to build their capacity and impact on improving local water quality and reducing the load of pollutants in support of Virginia’s efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay.  This workshop is designed for both the current practitioners who are already involved with regional collaborative approaches, as well as individuals and teams that are either gearing up to launch such an effort or are interested in how a regional collaborative might support meeting their water quality goals.


Background: In 2018-2019, UVA’s IEN conducted a qualitative research study to inform NFWF's Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund’s grantmaking program, with a better understanding of why and how “ecosystem collaboratives” may have the potential to accelerate on-the-ground activities and outcomes for watershed conservation and restoration.    In 2018 and 2019, NFWF has funded six Virginia-specific collaboratives, and two multi-state collaboratives that include the Commonwealth.  NFWF anticipates a continued grant making strategy that supports and furthers the work of water quality-based regional collaboratives through its Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grants program. In combination with the State’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) as guidance, these regional collaboratives are expected to provide meaningful and significant water quality improvements that can be sustained over time through improved and collective impact. 



Join the Virginia Outdoors Foundation for a great workout on this morning hike to House Mountain in Lexington. A van will take hikers and their guide to the trailhead. A box lunch will be provided and you will be back in time for the start of the DEQ Regulatory Update session in the afternoon. In case of bad weather, this will be cancelled and a refund will be provided.

PRESENTED BY: Virginia Outdoors Foundation