ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 14, 2022)–Chair of the tri-state Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC), Maryland Senator Sarah Elfreth, joined by Vice-Chairs Pennsylvania Senator Scott Martin and Virginia Senator Lynwood Lewis, today announced they have – with much gratitude and reluctance – accepted the retirement of Ann Pesiri Swanson, from her position as the Commission’s Executive Director, a job she has held since 1988.

The Chesapeake Bay Commission is a tri-state legislative body that advises the general assemblies of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia on matters of Bay-wide concern.  For four decades, the vast majority of the time with Ms. Swanson’s guiding hand, Commission members have successfully championed state legislative action, in both policy and budget, to help restore the environmental health and sustainability of the 64,000 square mile watershed. 

Ms. Swanson is a respected leader not just in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, but nationally and globally, for her ability to forge policies, laws, and implementation strategies that power large-scale ecosystem restoration.  She has carried the message and lessons learned from the Bay to the other corners of the world.  

In addition, Ms. Swanson has been honored many times for her lifetime of work, including being named an Admiral of the Chesapeake by former Maryland Governor O’Malley, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chesapeake Conservancy, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from her alma mater, the University of Vermont.

Capping her amazing career was the successful passage of significant legislation in Pennsylvania this month, to better regulate fertilizer application on turf, and provide significant funding for agricultural best management practices via the Clean Streams Fund. 

“No history of the Bay movement can be written without mentioning Ann’s steadfast leadership across the watershed. Her ability to bring legislators, administrations, and grassroots advocates together on the most controversial issues – and build meaningful consensus and execute legislative and budget progress – over the last 35 years is unparalleled. On a personal level, I’m incredibly grateful to call Ann a friend and mentor and will continue to call on her wisdom for counsel in the years and battles ahead,” said Senator Sarah Elfreth (Chair, Chesapeake Bay Commission and Maryland Delegation, on behalf of Maryland Delegation)

Ms. Swanson will formally end her tenure with the Commission on November 21st, and the Commission will advertise to hire a new Executive Director in August.

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