SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va (WDVM) — The 14th annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum was held in Shepherdstown over the weekend.

The theme this year, “better together” focused on diverse and innovative collaborations for the Chesapeake watershed. Over 400 people attended the event to help inspire and empower local action towards clean water.

“The rivers and creeks that come out of West Virginia drain down to the Chesapeake bay so we want to bring people here to help them understand where the watershed really starts, to build collaborative projects to help move the needle in some of the restoration work that we need to do,” Kate Fritz said, the Executive Director for the Alliance for Chesapeake Bay.

Some of those projects include getting the community more involved. Event coordinators say there is a need for more citizen scientists to help collect data from water monitoring programs. As a group they are also pushing to being more diverse and inclusive with seven other Chesapeake jurisdictions.

“Sharing successes of different projects whether its tree planting projects, how projects get done in partnership with schools, houses of faith, local government, state government,” Fritz said.

The Eastern Panhandle Rivers Coalition gave a presentation on what they’re doing to connect with the West Virginia community. Their focus is working with homeowners to protect their land from development.

“We want to conserve high value land in Jefferson and Berkeley counties. Properties that have streams where there is interaction between ground water and surface water or if they have healthy forests and other attributes that are good for the drinking water supplies,” Tanner Haid said, from the eastern panhandle rivers coalition. The alliance for Chesapeake bay has been doing projects for over 40 years.