Student Leadership


The Student Leadership Program offers year-round advocacy, awareness, and action experiences and training.

Kassie Fenn/CBF Staff

Explore to Learn. Learn to Lead.

The mission of CBF's Student Leadership program is to connect, educate, and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards to become critical thinkers and environmental problem solvers by advancing advocacy, raising awareness, and taking action to help Save the Bay.

Join the Program

Why join CBF Student Leadership?

Learn Outside. Expand your knowledge of watershed issues through immersive outdoor field experiences and interaction with regional experts.
Action. Earn service-learning hours during hands-on restoration events and community engagement opportunities.
Advocacy. Promote watershed issues that are meaningful to you and support the legislative process by meeting with representatives and decisionmakers. 
Awareness. Build leadership skills, access resources, and make positive change in your community with support from CBF.

How does it work?

  • The program operates year-round and is open to high school students living within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 
  • Student Leaders gain a deeper understanding of watershed issues during virtual and in-person programming.
  • Student Leaders engage with decisionmakers, scientists, industry professionals, artists, and regional experts to better understand environmental policy, protection, and conservation. 
  • Student Leaders select an issue impacting their community, then develop and implement evidence-based solutions using a Student Action Plan or SAPling. 

Commitment to Include all Voices.

Whether you are just beginning your environmental stewardship journey or are well into your trek, we welcome all to join our coalition. We aim to bring emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, identities, and races to the decision-making space as we work to ensure all individuals have access to clean water, clean air, healthy communities, and a saved Bay.

Contact us using this form or call 410-268-8816.

Student Leadership Affiliates

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Student Leadership Program combines two of CBF's organizational strengths: education and advocacy. Ultimately, our goal is to foster lifelong engaged, ecological citizens. We would like to honor and recognize the following programs and schools that do the same, allowing students to realize their connection to the environmental world and empowering them to act on its behalf. They are our CBF Student Leadership Affiliates.

Student Leadership Highlights


  • Parachutes for the Planet

    CBF Student Bay Advisory Council Member Kallan Benson, Parachutes for the Planet, and the Mother Earth Project work to give youth a voice on climate change.

  • Breaking Good

    In this episode, CBF President Will Baker talks to college seniors Kara Adams and Makenzie Koski about their Alternative Spring Break experiences volunteering to help Save the Bay.

  • Something's Happening Here

    In this episode, we bring you an inspiring speech that Congressman John Sarbanes addressed to students at CBF's 50 Forward event on July 15, 2017.

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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.

The Bay Needs You

The 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

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