Maryland / DC

Mark Bryer

Chesapeake Bay Program Director

Mark coordinates The Nature Conservancy’s work affecting the Chesapeake Bay and serves as spokesman for those efforts. He brings together staff from states across the watershed to build a coherent and meaningful conservation contribution to the Chesapeake Bay, the key nursery for the Atlantic seaboard. As “the face of the Conservancy” on bay issues, Mark is also heavily engaged in building partnerships.

Mark on Why His Work Is Rewarding

“I recently watched from an airplane as the sun rose over the Chesapeake Bay, and I could actually see the tributary in Maryland where we planted more than 10 million oysters. Knowing that we had done something meaningful in that location was really amazing. As we took off, I was able to look down and see both Crow’s Nest and Nanjemoy, a wonderful natural area along the Potomac River that sustains amazing wildlife and clean water along the second-biggest river that flows into the Chesapeake. I feel fortunate to wake up every day and know we’re making a difference in this watershed where I grew up and that I dearly love.”

Program Benefits
  • Improved bay health through restoring plants, animals and habitats
  • Improved water quality and lower cost for water-supply treatment through forest protection and wetland restoration
  • Improved recreational and commercial fishing though oyster restoration and other habitat enhancement
Mark’s Hopes for the Next 3-5 Years
  • Successful large-scale oyster restoration
  • Energy generation and other water uses in bay tributaries better managed to support needs of people and ecosystem
  • Significant progress toward policies enabling agriculture and a healthy Chesapeake Bay to coexist
  • Catalyze smart, strategic investment and conservation action to maximize ecological benefit of every dollar
  • Increased protection of forests along streams and rivers flowing to the Chesapeake
Key Program Partners
  • Chesapeake Bay Program (Mark chairs one of six committees)
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • State agencies: e.g., Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, various Pennsylvania environmental agencies
  • Local stakeholders: e.g., watermen, landowners, farmers
  • Local communities and businesses
  • M.S., Ecology, Yale University
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Lehigh University
  • Chair, “Healthy Watersheds” Goal Team, Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Maryland Oyster Advisory Commission
  • Maryland Sea Grant Advisory Committee