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Home > The Gateways Network > Joining the Network
Joining the Network

Special Chesapeake Bay places join the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network through a nomination and designation process. New Gateways are added regularly and nominations may be submitted at any time. If you are interested in nominating a potential Gateway to the Network, here is how the nomination process works.

Joining the Network is a three-step process involving:

  1. Nomination: The managing institution of a potential Gateway proposes an addition to the Network by submitting a nomination package to the National Park Service. Nomination packages may be submitted at any time, by local, state or Federal agencies or non-profit organizations.
  2. Review: Upon receiving a completed nomination package, the National Park Service, with the assistance of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Working Group, reviews the nomination and determines whether the proposed Gateway is an appropriate addition to the Network. The specific review criteria vary slightly according to the type of Gateway being nominated. Examples of the specific Gateway Nomination Review Sheets are provided below.
  3. Designation: Based on the Working Group's review and recommendation, the designation of a new Gateway is made by the National Park Service. Designated Gateways enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Park Service outlining mutual commitments to foster cohesive development of the Gateways Network.

There are a few key steps in preparing a nomination:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Gateways Network Framework and Strategic Plan to get a feeling for the Network and its goals. Please note that a few aspects of the Framework have been updated since publication, particularly the characteristics of certain types of Gateways and the nomination process. This website contains the most up-to-date information.
  • Review descriptions of the types of Gateways and Chesapeake interpretive themes contained on this website. Understanding the best fit between the place you are considering nominating and these characteristics is very important.
  • Determine which of the four types of Gateways you believe your location best fits. You are strongly advised to contact National Park Service staff to discuss your proposal in advance of submitting a nomination.
  • Prepare and submit a complete nomination package using the instructions and appropriate nomination form shown on this page.

Nomination Instructions:

Nomination forms:

Gateway Nomination Review Sheets:

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