Save the Bay News: Herons, Oysters, and a New Kind of Classroom


Students from the Macon and Joan Brock Classroom pull a seine net in the Lynnhaven River outside CBF's Brock Environmental Center.

Chris Freeman/Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Our monthly roundup of engaging and educational content for you to enjoy at home.

Summer is a time of discovery. Did you know Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, an endangered bird in Pennsylvania, are nesting in downtown Harrisburg near the Susquehanna River? Or that Baltimore recently completed a major water infrastructure upgrade that will help prevent millions of gallons of sewage from flowing into the city's harbor and the Chesapeake Bay? To help kids get outside and discover the Bay—even in the heart of the watershed's cities—check out the TV series Backyard Bay Savers, created through a collaboration between CBF and VPM, Virginia's home for public media. And get inspired by scenes of all the oysters and other cool critters students encountered while learning at the innovative new Macon and Joan Brock Classroom at CBF's Brock Environmental Center. Finally, our news wrap-up includes stories about oyster harvests and the expansion of our oyster gardening program in Virginia.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron fishing along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PA.

Kelly O'Neill

Herons in Harrisburg

Endangered Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are finding unexpected refuge in urban neighborhoods—including in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital city. The nests of these crayfish-loving wading birds grace the trees near the capital building, not far from the Susquehanna River. Adults will return to the same nest tree for decades, and some trees have hosted six or more nests.

CBF's Backyard Bay Savers

CBF Staff

VIDEO: Backyard Bay Savers

CBF and VPM, Virginia's home for public media, teamed up to produce the TV series Backyard Bay Savers for kids in the watershed. Check out video excerpts from our Bay Savers in the City episode to learn about oysters in Baltimore Harbor, how we know trees and plants help absorb polluted runoff from storms, and more.

Wyatt Young-American Multimedia Solutions/Kenny Fletcher/Chris Freeman

My Oyster Teacher

Imagine if students had hands-on experience with nature nearly every day—from baby terrapin turtles to oysters and harbor seals. In Virginia Beach, high schoolers are doing just that, where the new Macon and Joan Brock Classroom at CBF's Brock Environmental Center is home base for juniors and seniors in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Environmental Studies Program.

Updated and improved piping at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Baltimore City Department of Public Works

Baltimore Milestone

After years of advocacy, a major upgrade at Baltimore's Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant will help prevent millions of gallons of sewage from flowing into Baltimore Harbor and the Bay. The upgrades are expected to eliminate more than 80 percent of the volume of sewage that previously overflowed from the city's aged sewer system. We will continue to monitor the project and ensure it works as city officials expect.

CBF restoration volunteers planting trees and shrubs adjacent to a 50 acre wetland restoration project in Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Carmera Thomas/CBF Staff

VIDEO: Around the Bay in 60 Seconds

In this month's news wrap-up, we cover federal funding requests for water restoration in Pennsylvania, a new tree initiative that will help protect the Eastern Shore from climate change, Maryland's move to loosen the wild oyster harvest, the expanded oyster gardening program in Virginia, and more.

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What You Can Do

  • Bands in the Sand is back! VIP and Committee tickets are on sale now, and General Admission tickets go on sale July 28.
  • From fishing tournaments to oyster shell shaking, check out our volunteer opportunities and events across the watershed.
  • Sign our pledge and stand with us as we continue our fight to save the watershed's trees.
  • Save the Bay year-round as a Chesapeake Guardian. Right now, when you make a monthly gift of $15 or more, we will send you a limited-edition CBF Bluetooth speaker.

Issues in this Post

Community   Eastern Oysters   Education   Runoff Pollution   The Susquehanna River   Trees  


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.

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