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Education- Education and engagement opportunities help educate the public about the importance of Chesapeake Bay restoration. (Chesapeake Bay Program)
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Education and engagement opportunities help educate the public about the importance of Chesapeake Bay restoration. (Chesapeake Bay Program)


One of the most important parts of Chesapeake Bay restoration is teaching the public about the Bay and its local waterways. Bay Program partners work to educate and engage residents through formal curriculum-based learned and informal programs at parks and other sites.

Why is Chesapeake Bay education important?

Chesapeake Bay educational opportunities provide people of all ages with rich natural, cultural, historical and recreational experiences across the Bay watershed.

Formal education

Formal Chesapeake Bay education takes place through schools. Bay Program partners are coordinating the effort to support, provide and improve curriculum-based environmental education programming (both class and field experiences) in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the Bay watershed.

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) are a critical part of formal Bay education. Each student in the Bay watershed is expected to complete a meaningful Bay or stream outdoor experience before he or she graduates from high school. MWEEs are in-depth investigations and analyses of ecological concepts, environmental interrelationships and human implications. These studies help heighten understanding of Bay-related issues.

Informal education

Informal education opportunities provide Bay watershed citizens with life-long environmental learning opportunities. Place-based interpretation at Bay Program partner sites— such as Bay Gateways, CBIBS and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail—provide visitors with first-hand experiences that reveal the meaning of the Bay watershed's many resources by connecting with peoples' personal interests and values.

To promote informal Bay education opportunities, Bay Program partners are:

  • Increasing and improving opportunities for informal education and life-long learning through educational programming for adults and school-aged organizations.
  • Providing assistance, including grants, conferences, workshops and information kiosks, to partner sites to develop and enhance interpretive programs and materials.
  • Developing joint strategies to inspire stewardship by enhancing and coordinating visitor experiences and communicating the values of the Chesapeake.



Chesapeake Bay News

In The Headlines


Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)

Publication date: November 04, 2014 | Type of document: Brochure | Download: Electronic Version

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) serve as the foundation for a rich, lifelong relationship between students and their Bay.

Mid-Atlantic Elementary and Secondary Environmental Literacy Strategy

Publication date: June 06, 2012 | Type of document: Management Plan | Download: Electronic Version

Managers are making tremendous progress identifying and tackling environmental issues facing the Chesapeake Bay. However, many of the remaining challenges to a healthier ecosystem are complex, diffuse, and directly in the hands of citizens,…

Chesapeake Watershed Education Agreement: Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship (Signed)

Publication date: November 29, 2005 | Type of document: Agreement | Download: Electronic Version

By this agreement, the Executive Committee members commit themselves to continually work to ensure that  students have been exposed to concepts in environmental literacy and have examined strategies to foster their restoration and…

Endorsement of the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience

Publication date: January 10, 2005 | Type of document: Policy Memorandum | Download: Electronic Version

The Chesapeake Bay is dependent upon the actions of every citizen in the watershed, both today and in the future. The Bay's future will soon rest in the hands of its youngest citizens. Our students, future Bay leaders, should be armed with…

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience

Publication date: October 22, 2004 | Type of document: Backgrounder | Download: Electronic Version

A Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience, or MWEE, enables students to participate in hands-on environmental learning about the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This experience will serve as the foundation for a rich, lifelong relationship…

Directive 98-1: Chesapeake Bay Program Education Initiative

Publication date: December 08, 1998 | Type of document: Directive | Download: Electronic Version

This directive outlines environmental education commitments by the Bay Program, departments of education and interagency education groups in each jurisdiction. These groups will report annually to the Department of Education, and private…

From Around the Web

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Bay Terms

  • Watershed


Bay-Friendly Tips

  • Start an Environmental Club
  • Start or join an environmental club at your school to help raise awareness of Bay-related issues.


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