Past and Current Chesapeake B-WET Projects
Past and current Chesapeake B-WET projects reach students and teachers around the 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Chesapeake B-WET program has funded the following projects since 2017. Projects in all watershed states have been funded since the program’s start in 2002 to enable both student learning and teacher professional development to support Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences. Grants currently focus on helping school districts and divisions deliver MWEEs that reach an entire grade level of students (system-wide) as well as on building their capacity to embed MWEEs into curriculum and to advance environmental literacy planning.
Sturgeon Discovery Program
ShoreRivers is working with Talbot and Dorchester County Public Schools to provide third-grade students with a meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE) through which they will investigate endangered Atlantic sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay. Students research the importance of sturgeon and explore how human actions on land affect sturgeon habitat in their local rivers. Throughout this year-long program, participating teachers receive professional development focused on MWEEs and strengthening local partnerships. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $209,930 for this program, and there is a $31,260 nonfederal match.
Harbor Scholars is a professional development program run by Towson University designed to increase the capacity of all fifth-grade science teachers in the Baltimore City Public School system to effectively facilitate and support student engagement. A major focus of the Harbor Scholars program is building teacher capacity to facilitate student-led inquiry. All students of Harbor Scholars participants will visit the Inner Harbor on a field trip to explore how actions in their schoolyards and communities are connected with and affect the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $448,345.
Audubon Chesapeake Experience
The Pickering Creek Audubon Center is working with Wicomico County Public Schools to explore “how does human activity impact aquatic and avian wildlife populations in Chesapeake Bay ecosystems?” with sixth-grade teachers and students It includes teacher trainings, investigative outdoor experiences, student-driven stewardship action projects, and synthesis and conclusion components to find solutions at the community level to address issues facing the Bay and Atlantic Flyway. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $112,652, and there is a $5,348 nonfederal match.
What Lives in the Harbor
The National Aquarium Inc. is working with Baltimore City Public Schools to share this program with 3,600 sixth-grade students and 71 teachers in Baltimore City Public Schools by 2021. The program connects Baltimore City students with the aquatic world of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and helps them grasp how their decisions and actions can achieve a healthy harbor. A culminating family night at the Aquarium allows students to showcase their completed action projects. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $144,632, and there is a $41,303 nonfederal match.
Wave of Plastic
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is partnering with Calvert County and St. Mary’s County Public Schools to support student inquiry of plastic waste and its effects on marine ecosystems. The project will increase the environmental literacy, knowledge, and research skills of teachers and students through their MWEE experiences, establish collaborative partnerships amongst school districts, and foster environmental stewardship. Ultimately, students will make informed environmental choices related to plastic reduction and disposal into their local waterways, the Chesapeake Bay, and the ocean. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $139,579.
Bridging the Watershed Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience
Charles County Board of Education is working with the Alice Ferguson Foundation to design and implement a systematic integrated MWEE that will be embedded in seventh-grade life science and at the high school level in the content areas of biology and Earth systems in Charles County, Maryland. The program will include student stream monitoring in public parks and streams on school campuses and small-scale action projects that will include riparian buffer and stormwater plantings, nonnative plant removal, and planting native vegetation on school grounds. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $226,536, and there is a $21,584 nonfederal match.
Making the Link through a Professional Learning Community
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will initiate and facilitate a Maryland MWEE professional learning community that is focused on developing, revising with peer feedback, and implementing Next Generation Science Standards/Environmental Literacy-based MWEEs and can ultimately become self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Principal investigators will disseminate the project’s process and products with other education professionals through partners’ websites, conferences, and statewide and regional partnership groups. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $198,759.
Headwater Investigations for Kids and Educators
The Pennsylvania State University Center for Science and the Schools and Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center are partnering with Bald Eagle Area School District to develop and pilot curriculum for second-grade, fifth-grade, and high school students through Headwater Investigations for Kids and Educators to Promote Watershed Research and Stewardship (HIKERS). Teachers and students will build their understanding of watershed dynamics by connecting activities and action projects in the headwaters (Bald Eagle Creek watershed) to conditions located downstream. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $296,236.
Headwaters to Estuaries with Immersive Technology
St. Francis University is partnering with Bedford Area, Chestnut Ridge, Harmony Area, and Hollidaysburg Public Schools to the stormwater best management practices (BMP) as an organizing principle to engage middle-school students in a visual and critically important environmental issue. The MWEEs will culminate in the design and implementation of a watershed BMP on the grounds of the school or in the participants’ local community. Student teams will present findings at an annual watershed festival hosted by St. Francis University. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $110,000.
What’s in the Water?
Gettysburg College is working with Camp Hill, Shippensburg Area, Conewago Valley, and Littlestown Area Public Schools to investigate and control runoff in the Chesapeake Bay watershed of Pennsylvania. Participants will learn how three types of environmental pollutants—sediment, road salt, and nutrient load—in stormwater runoff negatively impact local their watershed and Bay. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $146,789, and there is a $8,539 nonfederal match.
Systemic MWEE Program for Lancaster County
Northbay and the School District of Lancaster will serve more than 2,500 sixth- through eighth-grade students in the School District of Lancaster. A partnership with the Lancaster County Conservancy will help to expose teachers and students to beautiful and accessible local preserves managed for the health of the watershed. The project will create environmentally literate teachers and students who have a strong connection to the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $111,605, and there is a $93,901 nonfederal match.
Advancing Environmental Literacy and Supporting Clean Water Initiatives
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is working with Capital Area and Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit (IU) school districts across Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry counties to systemically integrate and align MWEEs into the curricular sequences for all south central Pennsylvania participating schools and produce 8-12 MWEEs within various class subjects. Students will learn about water quality issues and conduct inquiry-based investigations on the schoolyard and at local sites. The intended outcome for students is to engage as environmental stewards with local community entities to support clean water initiatives. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $110,907, and there is a $24,138 nonfederal match.
Environmental Literacy and MWEE Programming Capacity Building
The Stroud Water Research Center is leading a collaborative statewide Pennsylvania capacity-building project with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators, Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks, and a university science education professor. The group will hold monthly leadership team meetings, daylong Pennsylvania Watershed Education Task Force meetings, regional stakeholder sessions to determine current best practices in K-12 watershed education, review K-12 environmental education standards, and identify career pathways in environmental sciences and STEM. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $199,137, and there is a $16,212 nonfederal match.
Project Blue Crab
The Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Public Schools will engage all fourth graders in Chesapeake Public Schools in intensive study of the Atlantic blue crab. The goal will be for them to understand and find ways to address the impacts of sea level rise on river life, themselves, and their community. Watermen, folk musicians, and the Elizabeth River Project’s Dominion Energy Learning Barge and Paradise Creek Nature Park all will play roles in the project. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $314,993.
Bivalves as Ecosystem Sustaining Treasures
Virginia Commonwealth University is partnering with Charles City County Public Schools, Colonial Heights Public Schools, New Kent County Public Schools, and Newport News Public Schools to use bivalves as theme connecting inland riverine and coastal marine ecosystems. Students will engage in hands-on investigations using NOAA education modules informed by aligned research from scientists and graduate students from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Life Sciences and the VCU School of Education. Students will collect data on water quality to support bivalves in their watersheds and exchange data among schools. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $447,599, and there is a $32,638 nonfederal match.
Creating a Model for a Sustainable MWEE
The Friends of the Rappahannock, together with Spotsylvania County Public Schools and Caroline County Public Schools, and in partnership with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Lake Anna State Park, will serve all fourth, sixth, and ninth graders in Spotsylvania County Public Schools and all the ninth-grade students in Caroline County Public Schools. They will create a model for embedding MWWEs into the Rappahannock River schoolshed districts’ curriculum and to create sustainability teams to mentor and support collaboration between new and existing teachers. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $108,391, and there is a $22,920 nonfederal match.
Bay Watershed in Science Education
The Maymont Foundation’s goal is to build Henrico County Public Schools’ teacher capacity to facilitate immersive and authentic watershed experiences and fully implement complete MWEEs as required by the sixth-grade science curriculum, reaching all sixth-grade science teachers and students. Teachers and students will be supported in planning student action projects that demonstrate knowledge of the watershed and conservation efforts. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $149,568, and there is a $37,000 nonfederal match.
Student and Teacher Experiential Environmental Learning
The Nature Conservancy and partners Accomack County and Northampton County Public Schools will explore key questions: The fifth grade focuses on “How do people affect the environmental health of the terrestrial ecosystems on the Eastern Shore of Virginia?” Seventh graders investigate “How do people affect the environmental health of the aquatic ecosystems on the Eastern Shore of Virginia?” Tenth graders explore “How do people affect the environmental health of global ecosystems, and what are the local impacts here on the Eastern Shore?” Chesapeake B-WET is providing $100,000, and there is a $56,408 nonfederal match.
Developing MWEE Capacity
The University of Virginia, Blandy Experimental Farm, working with Clarke County Public Schools, will implement comprehensive, systemic MWEE curricula that spans grades K-12. Students will engage in activities designed to develop environmental literacy knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Students will learn about environmental and watershed systems in an interdisciplinary format using knowledge and skills from the four main content areas to investigate, assess, and synthesize environmental and watershed system components, processes, and human impacts. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $103,686, and there is a $22,027 nonfederal match.
Alexandria Youth Action for the Bay
Earth Force is partnering with Alexandria City Public Schools as they implement MWEEs into every middle-school science classroom across ACPS, train and support educators as they develop the skills to effectively teach MWEEs, and develop connections to expert support for educators to implement an investigative student-led project focused on watershed issues related to the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $109,535, and there is a $43,372 nonfederal match.
Environmental Literacy in the Piedmont
The Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District and partners Culpeper County, Greene County, Madison County, Orange County, and Rappahannock County Public Schools will develop and deliver weeklong meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) to all sixth-grade students in five counties and deliver 45 hours of professional development to each participating teacher. Throughout the MWEEs, students and teachers will be trained and continually reminded of the scientific investigative process. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $38,730.
Students Investigating Urban Parks
The James River Association will immerse students and educators from Richmond Public Schools in field-based experiences that will use real-world data, mapping, and hands-on experiences to challenge students to critically examine the complex ecological, economic, and human systems that depend on and collectively impact the health of the James River and Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $449,849, and there is a $53,220 nonfederal match.
Developing, Implementing, and Assessing Environmental Literacy Plans
The Virginia Department of Education will partner with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Department of Environmental Quality, and Department of Forestry to plan and implement professional development opportunities to cohorts of teachers and administrators across Virginia in order to build capacity for environmental literacy. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $130,131, and there is a $52,760 nonfederal match.
Alliance to Advance Student Action Projects
Earth Force will develop materials that provide school divisions and interested organizations with best practices and the planning tools needed to implement youth action projects. It will also assist school divisions and environmental education organizations to develop the capacity to incorporate student action projects into their MWEE programming. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $199,097, and there is a $28,975 nonfederal match.
Chesapeake Bay Mini-Grants
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is administering an existing grant program called the “Mini Pre-K-12 Environmental Education Grant Program (Mini Grant Program).” This partnership between NOAA and the Trust provides small environmental education grants of up to $5,000. These mini-grant projects take place in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Mini-grant projects typically include field excursions to water-based educational activities and small-scale hands-on restoration projects such as schoolyard habitat improvements. In addition, funds will be used to address known challenges to MWEE framework adoption through a variety of methods including conferences, workshops, and the development of products and resources. Chesapeake B-WET is providing $502,715, and there is a $200,000 nonfederal match.