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Joe Fehrer

Coastal and Lower Shore Project Manager

Joe Fehrer is project manager and face of the Conservancy on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he works to advance land protection and restoration. Based at Nassawango Creek Preserve, near where he grew up on the Eastern Shore, Joe does substantial public outreach and also works frequently with state and county elected officials and staff, particularly in Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Dorchester counties. He also works closely with Virginia Coast Reserve staff on Eastern Shore initiatives.

Joe on Why His Work Is Rewarding

“My whole view on conservation has evolved. It’s not what I get from it personally so much now as what I hope my kids and my grandkids will get out of it. I’d like for my grandchildren to be able to enjoy some of what I’ve enjoyed and be able to see and appreciate some of the things that I’ve seen and appreciated. That’s what keeps me coming into work every day.”

Program Benefits
  • Improved water quality in Nassawango Creek and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay
  • Protected and restored land and marine habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife
  • Economic opportunities for watermen and local communities
  • Identifying and prioritizing areas susceptible to sea-level-rise inundation.
Joe’s Goals for the Next 3-5 Years
  • Work with tax ditch association to restore habitat and connections to Nassawango flood plain
  • Initiate Nanticoke River oyster restoration
  • Explore opportunities for sustainable aquaculture
  • Collaborate with Virginia Coast Reserve and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service toward comprehensive plan for Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and conservation vision for Eastern Shore
  • Partner with the VA Coast Reserve on targeted sea-level-rise adaptation projects
Recent Opinions and News Coverage
Key Program Partners
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture
  • County officials and staff
  • Farmers and tax ditch associations
  • Local communities and watermen
  • Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Working Group
  • Regional Response Team III participant; oil spill/hazardous material response team
  • Maryland Coastal Bays Program
  • Southern Tip Ecological Partners, VA
Credentials
  • Past President, board member: Assateague Coastal Trust
  • Board member: Furnace Town Foundation
  • Member: Lower Shore Conservation Working Group
  • Member: MD Coastal Bays Implementation Committee
  • Member: Coastal and Watershed Resources Advisory Committee, DNR
  • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response qualified
  • 100 Ton Burdened, Vessel Operators license (limited waters)
  • MD HIC License: Historical Restoration and Consulting

Publications

Joe Fehrer

Coastal and Lower Shore Project Manager

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