The primary goal of CBNERR-VA's Stewardship Program is responsible management of natural resources using the best available information for maintaining, protecting and restoring the diverse habitats and associated flora and fauna found within Reserve boundaries located in the York River subestuary. Invasive species, problematic native species, land-use changes and longer-term climate changes are all examples of stressors that pose threats to Chesapeake Bay Reserve ecosystems. In order to contribute to coastal stewardship at a variety of geographic and ecosystem scales, the CBNERR-VA Stewardship Program pursues a variety of approaches including:
- Continual updating and implementation of Reserve component specific Natural Resource Management Plans (for the Reserve's four components located along the York River Subestuary);
- Developing in-house research, monitoring and restoration programs led by Reserve stewardship and senior staff that address stewardship and resource management needs;
- Encouraging and supporting research and monitoring by individual investigators or groups with emphasis on projects which address Reserve resource management strategies and priorities;
- Clearly identifying public use sites and appropriate public activities at each Reserve component as well as monitoring and evaluating visitor use to minimize user conflicts and impacts to natural resources;
- Supporting land conservation efforts through the development and implementation of a Reserve Boundary Protection and Land Acquisition Plan.