Exploring Urban Watersheds

Chesapeake-Classrooms_Alexis-Dickerson-CBF_1171x593

Teachers explore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and local ecosystems throughout the watershed—including cities—with CBF's Chesapeake Classrooms professional learning program.

Alexis Dickerson/CBF Staff

Teachers tie together city and environmental issues in a new CBF Chesapeake Classrooms course.

Cities may have a disproportionate effect on the health of the Chesapeake Bay, notes CBF educator Alexis Dickerson. But that also means they offer more opportunities for teaching important lessons about how to save it.

Helping teachers in three cities across the watershed seize those opportunities is the goal of a new course on urban watersheds Dickerson and fellow educator Claire Cambardella created and are debuting next month.

"Exploring Our Urban Watersheds" is a hybrid course for public school teachers in Baltimore, Richmond, and the District of Columbia. CBF will conduct the course online and in person in each city from July 19 through July 23.

The course will combine getting teachers outside to explore the unique characteristics of their respective cities' environments with coming together online to reflect on what they learned and how they can apply that in the classroom to inspire their students to act. Teachers will do some outdoor activities independently and others with fellow teachers in their city cohort.

"Cities are facing similar challenges," Dickerson says. "So we created a core structure where there's an opportunity for teachers from different cities to talk to each other about the similar challenges that exist in cities, and share their approaches and ideas about how to tackle those challenges with their students."

Those challenges, which affect both the environment and human health, include combined sewer overflows, stormwater management, and aging water treatment infrastructure, as well as environmental injustices such as heat islands, lack of green space, and the systemic racism that has led low-income communities and communities of color to be fractured by interstate highways and cut off from access to healthy food.

Polluted runoff from cities and suburban areas is a significant source of harmful nitrogen pollution that continues to grow in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As rainwater runs off our streets, parking lots, lawns, and other surfaces, it carries fertilizers, pesticides, oil, and other contaminants into local creeks, rivers, and the Bay, adversely affecting water quality and aquatic life.

"Exploring Our Urban Watersheds" will build on the work CBF is already doing to help teachers and students in Baltimore, Harrisburg, Richmond, and the District of Columbia understand what is happening in their cities, including mapping combined sewer overflows in Richmond and investigating the heat island effect in cities across the watershed.

By focusing on the common environmental challenges these cities face, Cambardella hopes to make them more "front-of-mind" for teachers so they can better show their students that environmental issues are city issues.

The five-day course is part of CBF's Chesapeake Classrooms® professional development program. Chesapeake Classrooms focuses on giving teachers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., ways to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of math, science, reading, and social studies.

Registration for "Exploring Our Urban Watersheds" in all three cities is open and places are still available. Learn more.

Lisa Caruso 90x110

Lisa Caruso

Washington, D.C. Media & Communications Coordinator, CBF

lcaruso@cbf.org
202-793-4485

Issues in this Post

Educate   Runoff Pollution  




Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in the media or articles on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Website, or any link contained in a linked Website, or any changes or updates to such Websites. The inclusion of any link is provided only for information purposes.


The Bay Needs You

The 2020 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today

Save the Bay

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

Save the Bay
x
This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Close