Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Save the Bay

aka CBF   |   Annapolis, MD   |

Learn how to support this organization
GuideStar Charity Check

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

EIN: 52-6065757


CBF's mission is: Save the Bay®, and keep it saved, as defined by reaching a 70 on CBF's Health Index. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers, broadly recognized as a national treasure, will be highly productive and in good health as measured by established water quality standards. The result will be clear water, free of impacts from toxic contaminants, and with healthy oxygen levels. Natural filters on both the land and in the water will provide resilience to the entire Chesapeake Bay system and serve as valuable habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic life.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Hilary Harp Falk

Main address

Philip Merrill Environmental Center 6 Herndon Avenue

Annapolis, MD 21403 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Environmental justice

Climate change

Water resources


Environmental education

Show more subject areas

Population served info

Children and youth


NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Serving as a watchdog, we fight for effective, science-based solutions to the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Our motto, "Save the Bay," is a regional rallying cry for pollution reduction throughout the Chesapeake's six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to more than 18 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals. CBF leads the way in restoring the Bay and its rivers and streams. For more than 50 years, we have created broad understanding of the Bay's poor health, engaged public leaders in making commitments to restore the Chesapeake, and fought successfully to create a new approach to cleanup that features real accountability- the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. But the Bay is still a system dangerously out of balance. We continue to engage in education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration to turn the tide and leave a legacy of clean water for future generations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


CBF performs hands-on restoration work with community partners across the watershed to reduce pollution at its source and rebuild the Bay’s natural filters—oyster reefs, forests, and wetlands. These efforts not only improve water quality in the Bay and its rivers and streams, they also protect shorelines, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, cool cities, and increase our resilience to climate change.
Working with Farmers - Our staff work one-on-one with farmers to implement conservation practices that keep valuable nutrients and soil on the land—rather than in the water.
Restoring Oysters - CBF restoration teams raise juvenile oysters and work from the bottom up to rebuild reef habitat in targeted restoration areas.
Planting Trees - CBF works directly with landowners and community groups to plant forested buffers along rivers, streams, and shorelines, where they improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife, help reduce dangerous heat, and combat climate change.

Population(s) Served

CBF believes an informed, passionate constituency is the key to restoring and maintaining the Bay’s health for generations to come. Knowing that the best place to learn about the Bay is on it, we educate tens of thousands of students, teachers, and school administrators each year through immersive field experiences and professional development courses that foster a lifelong connection to the watershed and its stewardship. We reach rural, urban, and suburban communities across the watershed, and 25 percent of the schools we work with are under-resourced. CBF’s award-winning program has been at the vanguard of environmental education for 50 years. Integrating state learning standards with explorations of local waterways, our field experiences enable students and teachers to apply their learning to real-world challenges in the watershed.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Together with our members, CBF is the strongest and most effective voice for protecting and restoring the Bay. We work at the local, state, and federal level for science-driven laws and regulations that reduce pollution; restore vital natural systems like oyster reefs, forests, and wetlands; and encourage smart growth in our communities.
CBF is internationally recognized as the expert on environmental issues that impact the Bay and its rivers and stream. Our staff of scientists and policy experts offer guidance to lawmakers and government agencies on issues such as agricultural conservation practices and fishery management to ensure the laws, policies, and programs necessary for Bay restoration are in place.

Population(s) Served

CBF defends the laws and regulations that protect our waterways and serves as a watchdog to hold governments and polluters accountable to their Bay restoration commitments through carefully chosen legal action. With a record of precedent-setting cases, we work to bring about lasting change within our legal system that ensures the equitable and long-term health of the Bay and its communities.
The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the landmark federal-state plan to clean up the Bay—was formally established as part of the settlement of a 2009 lawsuit CBF led against the Environmental Protection Agency. CBF’s litigation team successfully defended the Blueprint to the Supreme Court, representing a national coalition of environmental groups. For the first time, the Blueprint provides a legal framework to hold states and the federal government accountable for pollution reductions they’ve committed to make in order to restore the Bay’s water quality.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


The Avarna Group completed an evaluation of CBF recruiting/hiring practices and DEIJ website review. 2019

The Avarna Group completed an evaluation of CBF staff and board. 2020

J.Sickler Consulting, LLC conducted a student field programs evaluation. 2018

J.Sickler Consulting is currently evaluating the effectiveness of CBF's Professional Learning work. 2021

Green 2.0 Transparency Card 2023

CBF received citations from MD and VA legislatures celebrating 50 years of environmental education. 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership grew from 221 to 264 members, which have planted over 5.9 million trees in Pennsylvania.

Number of advocacy contacts with government leaders

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Inspired CBF members to take actions, including those that helped prevent a salmon farm that posed risks to endangered Atlantic sturgeon on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Number of children who have access to education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Environmental Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Celebrated 50 years of award-winning environmental education that has reached more than 1.5 million learners and inspired countless actions-and careers-dedicated to saving the Bay.

We define a Saved Bay as having a score of 70 (out of 100) on CBF's State of the Bay health index.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

At 70, the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers will be highly productive and in good health. The results will be clear water and healthy oxygen levels, supporting living resources.

Number of oysters added

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance expanded to 101 partners, which have added over 4.5 billion oysters to Bay waters.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint will be fully implemented.

The causes of climate change and its impact on the Chesapeake
Bay watershed will be reduced through restoration, policy, and
strategic litigation.

The next generation of environmental problem-solvers will be
equipped and empowered to understand, connect with, and act to
protect the Bay and its watershed.

A stronger organization and movement will be created through the
advancement of diversity, promotion of equity, inclusion of all
voices, investment in communities, and empowerment of staff.

Environmental Justice will be achieved for Bay communities.

Staff will be positioned for success in the above goals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 7.30 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 8 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 40% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$494,921 $3,266,976 $7,464,257 -$1,361,762 $2,089,293
As % of expenses -1.8% 11.9% 26.7% -4.5% 6.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$1,971,049 $1,838,597 $5,985,330 -$2,965,449 $674,684
As % of expenses -6.7% 6.4% 20.3% -9.4% 2.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $29,836,973 $37,635,927 $30,431,085 $37,482,212 $32,201,003
Total revenue, % change over prior year -15.3% 26.1% -19.1% 23.2% -14.1%
Program services revenue 5.2% 3.1% 2.8% 2.3% 4.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 2.9% 1.5% 2.7% 6.0% 3.9%
Government grants 5.3% 2.5% 4.4% 3.3% 4.1%
All other grants and contributions 82.4% 82.2% 71.6% 78.6% 78.1%
Other revenue 4.2% 10.7% 18.4% 9.8% 9.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $27,804,193 $27,488,252 $27,958,965 $29,934,302 $32,725,725
Total expenses, % change over prior year 10.8% -1.1% 1.7% 7.1% 9.3%
Personnel 60.9% 65.8% 64.8% 61.4% 59.3%
Professional fees 12.3% 10.9% 9.6% 12.2% 10.7%
Occupancy 1.3% 1.3% 1.3% 1.0% 1.2%
Interest 0.7% 0.6% 0.4% 0.3% 0.2%
Pass-through 1.1% 0.7% 2.7% 1.7% 1.0%
All other expenses 23.6% 20.7% 21.2% 23.4% 27.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $29,280,321 $28,916,631 $29,437,892 $31,537,989 $34,140,334
One month of savings $2,317,016 $2,290,688 $2,329,914 $2,494,525 $2,727,144
Debt principal payment $935,305 $643,681 $679,183 $717,261 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $2,608,473 $0 $1,517,647
Total full costs (estimated) $32,532,642 $31,851,000 $35,055,462 $34,749,775 $38,385,125

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Months of cash 6.4 9.8 10.5 10.8 9.0
Months of cash and investments 31.9 34.5 39.7 33.6 31.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.1 3.8 5.5 4.1 3.6
Balance sheet composition info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Cash $14,859,888 $22,533,779 $24,432,341 $26,877,077 $24,571,484
Investments $59,138,404 $56,594,635 $68,069,670 $56,978,124 $61,224,580
Receivables $13,749,612 $16,688,139 $12,943,033 $11,437,928 $9,651,488
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $51,140,519 $52,163,804 $54,107,524 $53,573,676 $53,213,327
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 41.1% 43.0% 42.9% 44.4% 43.9%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 6.1% 5.0% 4.7% 3.6% 3.7%
Unrestricted net assets $34,235,332 $36,073,929 $42,059,259 $39,093,810 $39,768,494
Temporarily restricted net assets $30,757,721 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $46,510,787 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $77,268,508 $83,881,968 $88,796,859 $82,148,669 $82,066,883
Total net assets $111,503,840 $119,955,897 $130,856,118 $121,242,479 $121,835,377

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President & CEO

Hilary Harp Falk

Hilary Harp Falk is President and CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She has spent her career building strong, authentic partnerships, and is a proven expert in large-scale ecosystem restoration. Falk’s national conservation leadership includes executive roles at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) culminating in Chief Program Officer. She created and directed the Choose Clean Water Coalition, and led programs including wildlife conservation, coastal resiliency, water policy, greenhouse gas reduction, and environmental education. Throughout her career, Falk has championed women’s leadership and advancing equity in the conservation movement. She was a 2016-2017 fellow with the International Women's Forum and co-chaired the National Wildlife Federation’s Women in Conservation Leadership Advisory Council. Falk earned her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Franklin and Marshall College and her Masters of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/04/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Otis Jones


Term: 2023 - 2026

Board co-chair

Ann Pelham

R. Bruce Bradley

Retired President, Landmark Publishing

Harry S. Gruner

Founder, Managing Partner, & Executive Chair, JMI Equity

Hilary Harp Falk

President & CEO, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Robert A. Kinsley II

CEO, Kinsley Enterprises, Inc.

J. Sedwick Sollers III

Managing Partner, King and Spalding LLP

Stephen M. Wolf

Managing Partner, Alpilles, LLC

Ann D. Horner

Retired Business Executive, Bourne Leisure

Preston M. White

CEO, Century Concrete, Inc.

Marnie Abramson

Principal and Founder of Lightility

Brian Cobb

Chief Technology Officer, partner, and member of the Executive Team at Brown Advisory

Alexandra Grayson

Graduate Student, University of California, Berkeley

Nathaniel J. Rose

Executive vice president and chief investment officer, HASI

Robert N. Whitescarver

President and owner of a private consulting business, Whitescarver Natural Resources Management, LLC

Dara C. Bachman

President, Fulton Private Bank

Joan P. Brock

Community Leader & Philanthropist

Margaret M. Freeman

Founder & Owner, Heywood Financial, LLC

Jennifer E. Green

Co-Founder & Former CEO, Urban Teachers

Jonathan D. Manekin

Director, Greenspring Realty Partners, Inc.

Anne Mehringer

Retired Manager of Litigation Support Jones Day Bethesda, MD

Mamie A. Parker, Ph.D.

Fish & Wildlife Biologist, Principal Consultant M.A. Parker & Assoc., Ecologix Group

Crystal Patterson

President, Washington Media Group

Samara Pyfrom

Student, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Christa Riepe

Founder & Farmer, Brumby Fields

Kathryn Gilchrist Simpson

Corporate VP & General Council, Northrop Grumman

Tola Sanni

CFO, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

William A. Agee

Vice President, Administration, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

George B. Clarke IV

Founder & Principal Owner, MEB

Nick Pomponi

Senior Managing Director, Evercore

J. Alex Ward

Partner & Co-Chair Government Contracts and Public Procurement, Morrison & Foerster

Denice Heller Wardrop

Executive Director, Chesapeake Research Consortium & Research Professor of Geography and Ecology, Penn State

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/4/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/01/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser