“His blood is on the Eastern Shore.” Indeed.

The comments were heartfelt and at times poetic. The occasion, honoring Jeff Horstman, the newest Chesapeake Bay Ambassador. Jeff recently retired as executive head of ShoreRivers. I suspect his retirement will not go well. He is not by nature, retiring. 

Jeff Horstman

Ann Swanson, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, summed up Jeff’s devotion to our rivers, bays and land. Her coda spoke of blood and the passions it stirs—and stirs in Jeff.

I had the good fortune of serving with Jeff on the Boards, yes plural. At the beginning we served on the board of Midshore Riverkeepers Conservancy, which was founded by Tim Junkin in 2009. ShoreRivers, the organization Jeff led until recently, includes the now merged Chester River Association which was founded in 1986 and the Sassafras River Association, founded in 2004.  

Absent Jeff’s leadership this merger would not have happened. Today ShoreRivers is the steward of the Choptank, Miles, Wye, Chester and Sassafras rivers.

Yes, I know organizational moves can be mind-numbing in the recounting. But, and this is the ultimate accomplishment: Jeff brought together a disparate combination of leaders who were devoutly focused on their watersheds and plans into a crucial regional mission which enjoys far-reaching synergy.

There were, of course, many principals in what was a rapidly moving and often inspiring narrative. But, there was one whose passion, focus, and measured efforts led to ShoreRivers. 

Congratulations Ambassador Jeff Horstman.