The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is greatly saddened by the passing of Libby Norris, CBF's Virginia watershed restoration scientist and agricultural specialist for the past 14 years, after battling breast cancer.
Libby was highly regarded across the state for her knowledge of farming, conservation practices, and technical assistance programs that help farmers reduce runoff pollution. She built a CBF program that has assisted hundreds of Virginia's farmers, fenced miles and miles of streams, and planted thousands of acres of stream buffers and wetlands. Quite simply, thanks to Libby's good work, today there are more healthy rivers and streams, more fish, crabs, and oysters, and more clean water for all of us across Virginia.
But more than that, Libby was beloved by everyone who knew and worked with her. Famous for her good nature and ready smile, Libby befriended farm families in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. She earned farmers' trust and provided them not only exceptional technical help but also a personal connection to the Bay.
She also got to know Bay watermen on remote Tangier Island, and hosted many farmer trips to Tangier as well as brought watermen to the Valley to meet farmers. She instinctively recognized that these two groups had more in common than they did differences and sought to build shared understanding.
Throughout her work, Libby always had two priorities: people and the environment. We at CBF know she was truly a very rare and special person who always thought of everyone on the team. She was a great teacher, mentor, and friend who remained positive no matter the challenges she faced.
Libby is survived by her husband David, daughters Colby and Dylan, her mother, brother, and a host of other friends and relatives.
One of the farmers who worked with Libby perhaps said it best:
"In life she was an inspiration to so many, a voice of reason in a sea of angry debate. In death she will be remembered as one who suffered without complaining and brought a smile wherever she went. Her legacy will be the bridges she built between opposing factions, and her headstone will be 10,000 trees growing across the Commonwealth, reminding us of what one individual can accomplish with vision and determination."