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Invitations from Rappahannock Exchange Conveners to be sent Monday, November 2

An Invitation signed by more than a dozen “conveners” of the proposed Rappahannock Exchange, and Chairman of the Rappahannock River Basin Commission, Emmett Hanger, will be released this coming Monday. The event is scheduled for December 9 at the University of Mary Washington, Stafford Campus. The event is also open to the public. A “Prospectus” describing the Vision, Design, and Workplan of the Exchange will also be provided to every registrant.

The text of the Invitation, sans Conveners, is shown below:

Imagine a day in the not too distant future when the government and private sector work in concert to achieve Bay restoration. Imagine watershed-based marketplaces found in every major river basin transacting products and services, every one of which, contributes to bringing the Bay back to life. Imagine communities, businesses, and landowners interacting within new commercial platforms that provide yearly landowner payments for healthy-Bay land uses from private transactions boosting corporate profit.

Together, we can build such a marketplace in 2 years. We need your help.

When: December 9, 2010; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: University of Mary Washington, Stafford Campus, 121 University Boulevard, Fredericksburg, 22406

Dear friend of the Rappahannock River Basin:

The Rappahannock River Basin Commission will host a Symposium on December 9th “Incentivizing Restoration through A Chesapeake Bay Economy”. The purpose of the December 9th symposium is to begin the process of creating a “bioregional” marketplace called the Rappahannock Exchange.  This National pilot project will seek to integrate environmental goals and policy with commerce.  This unique initiative significantly addresses stimulating, creating, and sustaining demand for the environmental infrastructure provided by our farms and our rural and urban forests.  Financially rewarding landowners that provide this infrastructure and enhancing the economic opportunities of businesses that participate in the Exchange is a core principle.

There has been considerable work done across the Nation with developing tools that quantify ecosystem services, registries that list marketable ecosystem service projects, and marketing protocols.  Much of this work is supply side oriented.   The supply side framework provides very important functions that are necessary to ensure that quality environmental assets and services are available for trade.  What makes the Rappahannock Exchange initiative very unique is that it will seek to create an economic platform that integrates the supply side framework with corporate and personal environmental stewardship and social responsibility.  Commerce will emerge that promotes ecosystem health of the Chesapeake Bay and the Rappahannock River Basin.

As a participant in the symposium, you will have the opportunity to shape the development of an historic effort to create the “first of its kind” bioregional economy.  The significance of this effort has implications far beyond Virginia’s boundaries.  As often before in the development of our Nation, Virginia can be proud of leading the way.

We have come to the 21st century. Please accept this personal invitation to roll up our sleeves and come together, embracing the unique strengths of our private and public heritage to construct the world’s first post-industrial ecological economy.

Additional information is available at the Rappahannock River Basin Commission website.

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