Student Leadership

The mission of CBF's Student Leadership program is to offer students opportunities to expand their knowledge of Bay issues, improve their planning skills, focus on team building, and learn how to lead others to take action to improve water quality in their local communities.

Our Student Leadership Expeditions will proceed during the scheduled dates in a format that aligns with the health and safety standards required by our communities and a format that upholds CBF's commitment to high quality environmental education experiences. We are busy planning multiple variations of our programming to fit that criteria.

Apply for CBF's Student Leadership Program

Three 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.

How CBF Increases Student Engagement in Environmental Issues

Students have an incredible ability and opportunity to help improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. A student's voice is powerful and when students speak in unison their message becomes amplified. We want to help students use their voices to speak for their generation by offering opportunities to expand their knowledge of Bay issues and encouraging them to advocate for issues meaningful to them.

Our Student Leadership program combines CBF's strengths in education and advocacy to

  • provide immersive field experiences that honor differing perspectives and demonstrate that solutions to ecological issues are often complex,
  • give students opportunities to work with scientists, elected officials, farmers, restoration experts, and educators,
  • teach students how to lead others in taking action to improve their local communities' environmental health,
  • assist students and their schools with their outreach to news media and social media.

The Five Core Components of CBF’s Student Leadership Program

  • Student Leadership Summer Expeditions: Explore to Learn. Learn to Lead.
    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. Registration for the summer 2020 program is closed. However, if you are interested in joining us, please send an email to
  • Student Leadership Confluences: Creating a vision for advancing Bay advocacy, action, & awareness.
    These weekend strategic planning and skills development conferences for Student Leaders across the watershed take place during the school year.
  • Rally Your Reps Events
    These are opportunities for Student Leaders to meet with their state or federal representatives to advocate for watershed issues that are meaningful to them or to say thank you for continuing legislative support of these clean water issues.
  • Student Leadership Professional Development
    These opportunities provide Student Leaders with skills, training, and development in fields such as public speaking, advocacy, civic engagement, community outreach, public awareness campaigns, etc.
  • Student Project Resources
    Our student project resources page has activities and guides for students to lead environmental stewardship and civic action 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 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 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.

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