Student Leadership


The mission of CBF's Student Leadership program is to create a constituency who will value the Bay and its watershed as a living, connected system and who will lead others in action to restore clean water and ensure a high quality of life for all its inhabitants.

Tenets of Student Engagement

  • Students make up their own minds on issues.

  • Students feel empowered and possess a sense of accomplishment.

  • Students advocate using their own voice and personal experiences.

  • CBF provides field experiences, which honor differing perspectives and demonstrate that solutions to ecological issues are often complex.

  • CBF will assist students and schools with their media outreach.

How do we do this?

Our student leadership program combines two of CBF's organizational strengths, education and advocacy. We do this by offering students opportunities to expand their knowledge of Bay issues through immersive outdoor field experiences and encouraging students to advocate for Bay issues which are meaningful to them.

Students have an incredible ability and opportunity to help improve the health of the Bay. A student's voice is powerful and when students speak in unison, their message becomes amplified. We want students to use their own voice to speak for their generation and advocate for the generations to come.

Working together with scientists, elected officials, farmers, restoration experts, and educators, students learn how to lead others in taking action to improve their local communities' environmental health. We accomplish this by providing 5-day student leadership summer courses and offering student-directed, civic action and stewardship project resources to motivated students who want to join in the larger effort of environmental change.

The core components of CBF’s program

  • Student Leadership Summer Course
    • These 5-day field experiences offer students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of watershed issues through immersive outdoor field experiences and engaging with regional experts.
  • Student Leadership Confluence: Creating a vision for advancing advocacy, action, & awareness
    • This is a weekend strategic planning and skills development conference for student leaders from across the watershed which takes place each Fall.
  • Rally Your Reps Days (twice a year)
    • This is an opportunity for Student Leaders to meet with their state or federal representatives to advocate for watershed issues which are meaningful to them or to say thank you for continuing legislative support of these clean water issues.
  • Student Leadership Professional Development Days (twice a year)
    • This is an opportunity for Student Leaders to receive skills training and development in fields such as public speaking, advocacy, civic engagement, community outreach, public awareness campaigns, etc.

Our student project resources page has activities and guides for students to do environmental projects on their own.If you are planning a project or have already started one, let us know

Contact us at 410-268-8816 or

Student Leadership Highlights


  • Growing Up Tangier

    CBF President Will Baker talks with 16-year-old Isaiah McCready about life on the Chesapeake Bay's historic Tangier Island.

  • Future Farmers, Future Bay Savers

    CBF President Will Baker and Student Leadership Manager Lane Whigham talk about a new program that provides conservation mentoring for future farmers in Pennsylvania.

  • Clear Water

    In this episode, CBF President Will Baker talks with staff educators Jocelyn Tuttle, of the Baltimore Harbor program, and Sam Eckert, from the residential program at Port Isobel near Tangier Island, about some of the exciting things they’re seeing out on the water with students.

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Blog: One Amazing Week and the Next 50 Years

Blog: The World Is Your Oyster by Matthew Talley (external site)

Audio: The Beauty of the Bay a poem by Garrett Chiaramonte

Action: Hellbender Campaign CBF's Pennsylvania Student Leadership Council drafts legislation to make the Eastern hellbender the Commonwealth's state amphibian.

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