A Marstel-Day Success Story:
Conservation and Preservation of Plum Island
Marstel-Day partnered with client Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound (CFE/STS) to help preserve the ecological jewel of Plum Island, an 840 acre island located at the eastern end of Long Island Sound. Currently the home of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Plum Island and its surrounding waters create an ecologically rich and diverse conservation landscape and seascape that includes rocky shorelines, sandy beaches, wetlands, over 200 species of birds (including 2 federally endangered species), and a variety of upland shrub, grassland and forest habitats.[ + MORE ]
Unfortunately, the federal government is slated to close the research facility and auction the entire property. Working together, Marstel Day and CFE/STS developed initial conservation scenarios, pathways and proposed outcomes for the island's preservation; the goals are permanent conservation, habitat protection, and integrated compatible reuse of the island's existing infrastructure. The team also developed a Visioning Approach for desired Plum Island Conservation outcomes, which will help inform the key elements of -- and fundraising strategy to help achieve -- conservation philosophy, goals, and associated outcomes. The Marstel-Day team has proudly supported CFE/STS to help develop the vision to preserve this national ecological treasure for long-term conservation and enjoyment
Partnering with Non-Profits
Marstel-Day developed the George Washington Region Food Security Story Map, which is an interactive multi-media website designed to promote food security in the Fredericksburg region. In partnership with Virginia Community Food Connections, Marstel-Day engaged with dozens of food security partners to understand and map the scope of hunger in the region, where 11.2% of the population lacks access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. This project facilitated numerous discussions about food security challenges and opportunities to support populations in need. Through engagement, we discovered that many great partner-led efforts are occurring simultaneously, but often without a full understanding of how collective efforts can be shared and optimized. Partners expressed desire for more information about locations with the greatest needs, and in response, we developed an innovative geographic analysis to characterize hunger gaps at the neighborhood level. Project results are being used to provide a foundation that spotlights this critical issue for more meaningful actions to address food insecurity throughout the region.
Marstel-Day worked with Resilient Communities and Watersheds, a joint program of the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy and the Sonoran Institute, to develop a Resilient Communities Starter Kit for the western US. This Kit responds to rising climate-based stresses affecting health, safety, and welfare with tools for healthy citizens, safe neighborhoods, and strong economies. We developed an adaptive risk management framework with cohesive planning among built and natural systems to promote vibrant and resilient communities.
Marstel-Day developed a GIS-based scenario planning tool to help the New River Land Trust prioritize critical habitats and working lands threatened by sprawling development and climate change. The tool created alternative futures throughout southwest Virginia based on rigorous analysis of habitats, hydrology, working lands, and other conservation priorities; as well as the threats to those resources. Rapid modeling and visualization of multiple scenarios helped our client target strategic conservation of the most critical and vulnerable resources.
A partnership among Marstel-Day, the University of Mary Washington (UMW) and other business, government, and non-profit organizations to develop a Climate, Environment, and Resilience (CLEAR) plan for Virginia's George Washington Region provides a road map and action plan for preserving and improving the natural environment, while improving the quality of life and the economic health of the surrounding communities.
A True Partnership
By conducting planning charrettes, Marstel-Day and UMW identified the following five topic areas within the climate, environment, and readiness categories: (1) Community Resilience, (2) Soil and Water, (3) Emergency Preparedness, (4) River and Open Space, and (5) Economic Development. identified and assisted the CLEAR Plan members in facilitating communication and engagement, environmental analysis, Geographic Information Services, and strategy development. More than fifty non-profit groups, businesses, and government organizations have become involved in helping to realize the CLEAR Plan goals.
Clear Goals - Resilience
The CLEAR Plan goal of establishing resilience within the region aims to improve local communities’ capacities to become strong, healthy, successful and productive.
Marstel-Day’s environmental consulting expertise assists the CLEAR Plan team in understanding what achieving resilience means to the Region; specifically, its wetlands and forests, open spaces and agricultural lands, roads, water and electric utilities, communications networks, emergency services, healthcare institutions, government and commerce organizations.
Our efforts serve to improve the Region’s resilience by helping preserve local and national treasured resources, such as the pristine beauty of preserved Civil War battlefields and riparian vistas, the quantity and quality of our drinking water supplies, the productivity of our agricultural lands, and our rich historical heritage.
Marstel-Day staff teamed with University of Mary Washington students to develop a list of recommended actions for the City of Fredericksburg to move forward in reducing its greenhouse gases (GHGs). This effort will allow the city to evaluate its progress over time, making it possible to take actions to help drive regional readiness by ensuring the long term health of its climate, environment and economy – primary objectives of the CLEAR plan.
Marstel-Day also developed a GIS systems-based approach to conservation planning in the George Washington Planning District to prioritize critical resources and vulnerable lands within climate resilient locations, focusing on those areas most immediately at risk.
Component systems of important habitats, climate resilient locations, and lands at risk of development filtered through a portfolio of current protected lands, are the results synthesized to reveal spatial priorities, gaps, and threats. Through iterative GIS analysis, this project identified regional conservation priorities for high-priority climate resilient landscapes which are most at risk.
Background and Experience in Non-Profit Partnerships
Our team includes highly specialized experience with non-profit organizations for operational strategies and in support of on-the-ground conservation actions. Our experience includes dozens of years of prior non-profit staff experience, leadership experience on boards of conservation organizations, and development of successful non-profit funding strategies.
Our technical expertise includes land conservation solutions, and our experts have directly engaged with more than 500 conservation organizations or agencies ranging from volunteer, single-person land trusts to large national agencies. We bring rich experience of modern land conservation challenges for real estate, urban growth, financing, policy, information systems, and climate change. We have helped clients develop innovative solutions for market-based conservation, for developing partnerships for shared conservation goals and resources, and for creative and cutting-edge messaging to support conservation.