Chesapeake Bay Resources

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative

This is a multi-state National Geographic program funded by NOAA that equips 4-12 educators with the necessary knowledge and resources to provide watershed education and encourages educators to connect their students to the Chesapeake watershed through environmental monitoring and geospatial technology.

The Virginia Geographic Alliance, one of eight state Geography Alliances (NY, PA, NJ, MD, DE, WV, VA and the District of Columbia) involved in the program, has facilitated professional development workshops throughout the state. Participating teachers increased their knowledge of watersheds, the Chesapeake region, and strategies for involving their students in data collection, stream testing, and geospatial visualization.

To date, 100 Virginia educators have participated in professional development workshops and received a host of watershed-related resources. Presentations on the initiative have been given at numerous conferences, including the 48th annual Virginia Conference for Social Studies Educators and the NOAA Mid-Atlantic Environmental Literacy Summit. Forty-eight teachers have participated in FLOW Education a professional development online course hosted by National Geographic. More than 200 teachers and pre-service teachers have learned hos to use the Chesapeake Fieldscope online GIS site in conjunction with the newly revised National Geography Standards.

The VGA has partnered with Clean Virginia Waterways, SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) Center for Innovation on the Chesapeake Bay, and Longwood SOLstice: Summer of Learning–Science Teachers Investigating the Chesapeake Environment Program to present workshops and provide teaching resources.

Chesapeake Bay Climate Institute, 2022

Learning Resources


The following resources come from Integrating Perspectives on the Chesapeake Bay through Civic Engagement: An Institute for Teachers, workshops funded by a grant to the Virginia Geographic Alliance and Longwood University by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Geographic Society.

April 20, 2013, at Wilck’s Lake in Farmville, Virginia.

I. An article about Hope:

“The next time you feel a certain malaise that often accompanies being environmentally aware these days, shut off the device, step outside, find the biggest blue or green expanse around, and jump, hike, or climb in.

Then come back to work, we need you. ”
– Wallace J. Nichols

 II. Virginia’s Water Resources—A Tool for Teachers was written by Jeremy M. Lloyd, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Science Education, Longwood University, and Kathleen M. Register, Executive Director of Clean Virginia Waterways. This is the book that was handed out to all attendees. To download additional copies, click here for the Table of Contents and PDF files you can print.

III. World Water Monitoring Day—Virginia-specific guide for educators.

This site has more information to go with the water monitoring kits that the teachers received at the VGA Chesapeake Bay Institute. The World Water Monitoring Day is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Participants sample local water bodies for a core set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Results are shared with participating communities around the globe through the WWMD website:

Clean Virginia Waterways worked with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Virginia Water Monitoring Council to create this Virginia-specific guide for educators thanks to a grant from Altria. This on-line guide will help you plan a safe and educational World Water Monitoring Day event on your school grounds, or in a nearby park.

IV. NOAA’s Marine Debris Program has many resources:

The lesson about rubber bands on the hand comes from this: Turning the Tide on Trash: A learning guide on Marine Debris, By Katie Register, et al. You can download this and other marine debris educational resources from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s web site:

V.  Worksheet: Observing this place using our senses.

VI. 2013 Virginia Waterways Cleanup event – signup sheet & supply form

VII. Singing to the Whales in the Sea” story

“The first thing I do when I take Ohio kids out to a piece of water is to have them touch it…….then, I help them “feel” the connection all the way to the sea. Once, a boy responded by wading out into the Olentangy River. He leaned over and started singing Humpback Whale songs, telling the rest of us that if that water goes to the ocean, the whales would hear him singing.” __Ron Hirschi, 2012

VIII. “Hope in Hard Times” by David Orr (2004)

IX. “Show Me the Hope! ” by Ronald R. Swaisgood and James K., Sheppard (2010)

X. FieldScope PowerPoint

XI. FieldScope directions


April 27, 2014 workshop at Hull Springs Farm in Westmoreland County and on Tangier Island, Virginia

I. Resources provided by Kathleen M. Register, Executive Director,  Clean Virginia Waterways
Longwood University (Stevens 113), 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909
Office:  434-395-2602

Entire list available as docx file.

Animal Tracks

 Balloons as Litter – a citizen-scientist data collection project by Clean Virginia Waterways and the Virginia Aquarium.

 Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia (CBNERR)

Clean Virginia Waterways:

 Elizabeth River Project:

This web site includes information on the Elizabeth River Projects’ River Star Homes and River Star Businesses programs.

Elizabeth River Project – The Learning Barge:!the-learning-barge/c11py

Environmental literacy and geographic literacy… and more!

From this NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office web site, you can download information about environmental literacy and geographic literacy as well as:

 Keep Virginia Beautiful:

Every year or so they have $500 grants for litter prevention and plastic bag recycling projects.

 Litter in the environment (how to integrate it into lessons)

 Lynnhaven River NOW:

  • Pearl Home Program:

Marine Debris – learn more about trash in our oceans & how it must be prevented:

National Data Buoys Center (run by NOAA — National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration):

NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office:

Lots of great resources for teachers!

Trex Plastic Bag Challenge:

Wetlands Watch:

This nonprofit organization has great resources about how rising sea levels will impact wetlands and coastal cities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Additional notes/links from Cathy Roberts:  (

1. EPA’s Students Guide to Global Climate Change:

 Select Climate Change and then A Students Guide to Climate Change

2. Lots of great activities on VIMS bridge site (, including “Sea Level Trends.” It uses real data for analysis of several shorelines.

Select Lessons
Select Data Activities
Select Climate
Select “Sea Level Trends”

3. NMEA 2014 National Conference in Annapolis MD July 21-24:

4. Windows2Universe:

Lots of great activities.  You can join to access all of them but several are available without joining.  The one referenced was “Mapping Ancient Coastlines.”  The student mapping sheet is accessible without joining.

Select Teachers
Select Activities
Scroll down and select Climate and Global Change
Select Classroom Activity: Mapping Ancient Coastlines
Select “Bathymetry Worksheet

II. Climate change activities presented by Sarah McGuire Nuss, Education Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia (804-684-7878,

Sarah’s Powerpoint presentation: Climate Education for a Changing Bay (This is a large file. Be patient!)

Real Time Data

Estuaries Curriculum:

Sea Level Rise Coastal Viewer:

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in VA website (w/ state standards correlation for Estuaries Curriculum):

Photos from workshops.


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