State faith, conservation, science, and public policy leaders gathered on November 19, 2013, at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond for “Living Waters: An Interfaith Summit” to discuss stewardship of rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.” The summit brought together a diversity of people to examine water quality through the lens of faith, establish partnerships, and discover collaborative ways to restore and protect our living waters.
The all-day forum included presentations from guest speakers followed by group discussions. Presenters included, among others, J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness; Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, chair of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake; Tayloe Murphy, former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources; Dr. Carl Hershner, director of the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; and Delegate Lee Ware, member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Participants also created their own agendas for conducting interactive group discussions, facilitated by the Institute for Environmental Negotiation, to explore ways the faith and conservation communities can work together for clean water.
Project partners included the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Conservation Network, Caretakers of God’s Creation, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, the Office of Justice + Peace, and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.