With Schools

Students aboard CBF's skipjack Stanley Norman. Photo by Loren Appel/CBF Staff.

Bringing the Bay Experience to Students and Teachers

Learn OutsideFor more than 30 years, CBF's award-winning environmental education program has been one of the cornerstones of our effort to reverse the Bay's decline.

Our acclaimed programs include:

  • Field Experiences—These programs take students out on the Bay and its tributaries for hands-on investigation.
  • Teacher Professional DevelopmentChesapeake Classrooms program, which focuses on methods to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of reading, math, science, and social studies.
  • Teacher Resources—Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.
  • Student LeadershipStudent Wave effort, for high school students, with action projects, ways to share accomplishments, summer environmental leadership courses, and other opportunities.

All programs are designed to support state standards of education and are based from the official definition for a "meaningful watershed education experience" (PDF, 0.9 MB) as defined by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Programs are supported and created in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Geographic Society.

Opportunities include exploration of local wetlands by canoe or a day aboard a historic, 100-year-old skipjack, our traditional watermen workboats, or modern research vessels. In the heart of the Chesapeake, our island centers provide a unique insight into how the livelihoods of watermen are connected to the Bay, offering participants the opportunity to interact with surrounding 300-year-old fishing communities. Learn more about our education staff.

CBF's environmental education opportunities link the natural environment and human culture of the Chesapeake. They enable students and teachers to conduct their own research through biological sampling, chemical analysis, and physical measurements. In addition to using critical thinking skills to evaluate the health of the ecological system, participants also gain a unique perspective in the relationship between water quality, fisheries, and economics. Our courses combine many academic disciplines, such as earth science, biology, history, art, English/writing, math, chemistry, civics, economics, government, and responsible citizenship.

Innovative teaching methods and a knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff have put CBF at the vanguard of the environmental education movement. The result is an exceptionally informed and inspired constituency that values the Bay and its watershed as a living, connected system. Read what people are saying out our education programs.

Watch our video, "You Gotta Be There!"

In the News

05.13.15 - Lessons begin to reflect new environmental literacy graduation requirement

05.11.15 - Susquehanna Watershed Education Program Offers Students First-Hand Experience in Water Quality Testing

05.06.15 - Westbrook students celebrate 20 years of shad release

04.28.15 - Gov. stops in PG for Earth Day

04.23.15 - CBF Press Statement CBF Applauds National Award to Howard County Public School System

04.22.15 - Governor McAuliffe Signs Environmental Literacy Executive Order

04.22.15 - Teaching stewardship

04.18.15 - Floating classrooms foster love of nature

04.17.15 - Bel Air High Students Have Class on the Bay

04.14.15 - Bay Foundation program lets you track ospreys, Woody and three friends, online

04.08.15 - Chesapeake Christian School Students Help Turtle Population Thrive

04.08.15 - Tuscarora High biology students plan to protect the oysters

04.02.15 - Palmyra students learn about watershed systems

03.25.15 - Midshipman honored for rain barrel project

03.09.15 - Take the Classroom Outdoors

03.04.15 - Around South County: Shady Side 5th graders save the bay, one notecard at a time

02.09.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation names two VPs

02.03.15 - Students Urged to Play Important Role in Future of Environment

12.17.14 - Dunloggin efforts to improve health of Chesapeake Bay gain national recognition

10.28.14 - CBF Press Release Maxwell Wins CBF Educator of the Year

10.28.14 - Important Lessons Taugh

10.23.14 - Voyage of discovery

09.18.14 - Virginia's first lady announces renewal of environmental literacy program for Beach students

09.02.14 - Nationally recognized Peasley science teacher takes hands-on approach

09.02.14 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation plans adult education course

08.18.14 - Encouraging children of the soil

08.14.14 - Lessons to help the bay

08.12.14 - Eye-to-eye with mummichogs

08.07.14 - Chesapeake Bay course provides hands-on learning for principals

07.23.14 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation teaches the teachers in Glen Burnie project

07.17.14 - Nature as classroom for Patrick Henry HS teacher

06.17.14 - LHS student speaks on bay issues to governor

06.11.14 - Don Baugh, a leader in environmental education, steps down after 38 years with CBF

04.09.14 - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation program takes students out on midstate waterways to learn about science, conservation and nature

04.08.14 - Lower Dauphin teacher completes 19 years of taking students on outdoor trips with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

03.23.14 - Tracking ospreys as they come north again


Teacher Professional Development

CBF provides high-quality professional development that meets the evolving needs of teachers and school communities. Find out more.

Logo: Chesapeake Classrooms

FY 2014 Education Accomplishments

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the commitment of our educators and staff, CBF accomplished the following in Fiscal Year 2014.

Conducted hands-on, on-the-water, environmental education experiences for 35,000 students, teachers, and adults.

Taught 28 Chesapeake Classrooms teacher professional development courses for almost 400 teachers from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Teachers paddled canoes, tested water quality, participated in hands-on activities, and developed lesson plans for incorporating Bay studies into their classes.

Facilitated five Student Leadership courses with 67 young adults aged 14 to 17 from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. After the program, these
students participate in CBF events and communicate Blueprint-related priorities to their peers through involvement in environmental clubs and student government associations.

Supported student alumni of our field education programs. Helped them develop Bay-related action projects through online resources, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and CBF's Student Wave website.

Continued work with nine Maryland school systems to ensure all students receive environmental education experiences and that teachers
have the tools to fully implement Maryland's environmental literacy graduation requirement.

Maintained environmental literacy partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Began work with Rockingham County Public Schools in Virginia on a plan to connect classroom instruction to outdoor learning at every grade level.

Led 78 principals and school administrators in four Principal Environmental Leadership Courses to increase school system support for environmental education and promote green school programs.

You will begin to receive Bay updates from CBF soon.

In the meantime, join the Bay-friendly conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

Questions that require an answer are marked with  *
* Please take a moment to provide the following information so that we may keep you updated on issues and events near you.
 E-Mail Address
 First Name
 Last Name
 Zip Code

1-888-SAVEBAY / 1-888-728-3229

BBB Accredited Charity
GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant Seal
Charity Watch Top-Rated

Bids & ProposalsPrivacy Policy

© 2014 Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
All Rights Reserved.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt charitable organization under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.