Chief of Staff Griffin (in white) presents O’Day with her award on behalf of Governor O’Malley

On November 6, Governor Martin O’Malley named Jodi R. O’Day Chesapeake Bay Ambassador in recognition of her work in land conservation. The honor comes as O’Day, a vice-president and regional counsel of The Conservation Fund, marks three decades of work to advance Maryland’s land conservation programs and environmental protection. The Maryland Governor awards the Ambassador on a case-by-case basis in recognition of significant contributions to state’s natural resources. 

“With her wealth of knowledge and expertise, Jodi forged relationships and managed complex land conservation transactions that resulted in protection of forests, farmland, and historical properties that will benefit current and future generations of Marylanders,” said John Griffin, the Governor’s Chief of Staff who presented the award on his behalf.

In her 18 years with The Conservation Fund, O’Day has led the 138 projects that have conserved 135,000 acres of land valued in excess of $350 million. Many of the properties were gifted to the State of Maryland. Recently, by facilitating an innovative land swap, O’Day helped establish the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and the Harriet Tubman National Park, both in Dorchester County.

“Maryland and the nation have greatly benefited from Jodi’s 30 years of outstanding work,” said Patrick Noonan, chairman emeritus of The Conservation Fund. “Her accomplishments span Maryland from its Atlantic coast to its western mountains and have protected historical and cultural resources from Civil War Battlefield sites, to farms and forests, to the coastal marshes of the Chesapeake Bay.”

Richard L. Erdmann, executive vice-president and general counsel of The Conservation Fund, said the breadth of O’Day’s work was exceptional.

“Recently Jodi helped establish the Harriet Tubman state and national parks, and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. But she also worked on Chesapeake Forest, the largest forest preservation project in the state to date,” said Erdmann. “She is a master of the details of conservation, and has made a great contribution to the health and beauty of Maryland’s landscape and to the outdoor recreation opportunities available to Marylanders.”

O’Day graduated from the University of Maryland and began her conservation work as an Assistant Attorney General with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources where she developed a life-long interest in public service. While working at DNR she helped design many of the state’s land conservation and environmental protection programs.