Beth McGee, Ph.D.

Director of Science and Agricultural Policy

Beth McGee passed away June 4, 2023.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) mourns the loss of Dr. Beth McGee, CBF’s Director of Science and Agricultural Policy. Since coming to CBF in 2003, Beth played a crucial role in assessing the health of the Bay, leading the science of Bay restoration, and helping CBF craft policy solutions. 

A scientist at heart, she had a unique ability to translate her knowledge into terms that were easy to understand, and she enjoyed her role advising other Bay scientists and communicating the Bay’s challenges and solutions to the public and elected officials.

Just as important as her ability to make complex science easier to understand was her ability to shape and affect policy. To achieve environmental change, she believed, science must support policy decisions. Then those policies need to become legislation or regulations that are effective. Over the last 20 years, she helped achieve those goals.

Dr. McGee had a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia, a Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland. She once said, “Find your passion, make it your job, and you’ll never work another day in your life!” 

Alison Prost, CBF Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration, offered these thoughts.

“The Chesapeake Bay lost a giant today. Although small in stature, few have contributed as much to the science and policy of Bay restoration as Dr. Beth McGee. Her love and connection to the watershed and the Bay drove her. And her intellect never let her settle for the status quo. When Beth talked, the Bay restoration community listened and acted on her advice. 

“Beth was dedicated to science and the facts, and was always open to new research and ideas. Her colleagues, both inside and outside of CBF, were the beneficiaries of her knowledge, kindness, and sense of humor.” 

Beth's Posts

  • Farms Need Support Now, for Their Own Sake and for the Chesapeake Bay

    March 29, 2023

    The way we produce food has profound consequences for the health of our communities, our environment and our local economies. Unfortunately, the status quo isn’t working for us or our environment. Legislators and policymakers need to support farmers' efforts to make critical changes.

  • Seven Steps to Writing a Bay-Friendly Farm Bill

    January 24, 2023

    Nutrient runoff from farms is the largest source of pollution in our waters. Reducing it is also the biggest opportunity to restore them. That’s why this year’s Farm Bill debate in Congress is so important.

  • Underwater Grasses: How Are They Doing?

    August 30, 2022

    Underwater grasses are a critical habitat in the Bay and its tidal rivers. We asked Dr. Beth McGee for an update on their status and what it means for the health of the Bay.

  • What Does Hurricane Ida Mean for the Chesapeake Bay?

    September 2, 2021

    CBF's Director of Science and Agricultural Policy Beth McGee tells us what we need to know.

  • What's the Deal with the Dead Zone?

    June 19, 2019

    Scientists are predicting one of the largest dead zones in decades in the Bay this summer. But what does that really mean? Dr. Beth McGee answers all our questions.

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