Keys to long-term improvements in the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams are knowledgeable, active, and inspired citizens. CBF motivates citizens to take a more active role in their local communities by educating them through our Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, or VoiCeS, classes, a professionally-taught, intensive educational training course that includes classroom teaching, hands-on projects, and field experiences.
Adult volunteers in VoiCeS classes learn about specific land use and water quality issues, as well as how volunteers and their communities can help restore the Bay and their local waterways..
Classes convene for five to eight weeks. Classroom speakers are experts in their fields and have included elected officials, non-profit leaders, engineers, scientists, comedians, farmers, watermen, and educators. VoiCeS not only connects participants with the Bay, but it also gives volunteers a greater understanding of their own watersheds.
Armed with their classroom knowledge, VoiCeS participants commit to forty hours of volunteer work on behalf of improving local water quality and the Chesapeake Bay (this might or might not be required, depending on the location). Their efforts have ranged from writing editorial pieces for newspapers to restoring an entire shoreline. Projects seek to take the natural talents and interests of the VoiCeS volunteers and put them to use on issues to help save the Bay.
The empowerment of local citizens through the VoiCeS program will assist with the implementation and defense of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the federal and state restoration plan that is helping clean up the Bay and local rivers and streams.