CBF is greatly saddened by the death of Libby Norris, CBF’s Virginia watershed restoration
scientist and agricultural specialist for the past
14 years. In early July, Libby peacefully succumbed to breast cancer.
Libby was very highly regarded across the
state for her knowledge of farming, conservation practices, and technical assistance programs. She helped farmers reduce runoff
pollution. She built a CBF program that
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.
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, rarely needing to rent a hotel room or buy a meal while
on or off CBF duty. She earned farmers’ trust
and provided them exceptional technical
help and a personal connection to the Bay.
She got to know Bay watermen on remote
Tangier Island and led many farmer trips to
Tangier to meet them. She also brought watermen to the Valley to meet farmers. She instinctively recognized that these two groups had
more in common than 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 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 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 head-
stone will be 10,000 trees growing across
the Commonwealth reminding us of what
one individual can accomplish with vision
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.