Students examine a juvenile diamondback terrapin at the Annapolis Maritime Museum on Oct. 2, 2009. (Photo by Matt Rath/Chesapeake Bay Program)

The Bay Program has launched, an online resource for teachers and environmental educators to engage students in hands-on learning about the Chesapeake Bay and its local waterways.

Bay Backpack includes:

  • Teaching resources: Learn creative ways to integrate the Chesapeake Bay and environmental issues into your lessons with our collection of lesson plans, curriculum guides, multimedia, books and online data sources about watershed subjects.
  • Field studies: Find a place to take your students on a field trip to learn about the environment with Bay Backpack’s database. Get your students’ feet wet and hands dirty in the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.
  • School projects: Use these comprehensive project resources to effectively plan, utilize and sustain a variety of school greening projects aligned with U.S. Green Ribbon Schools requirements, Eco-Schools, USA Sustainability Pathways and state green school programs.
  • Funding opportunities: Looking for funds to build a schoolyard habitat or provide your students with a field study? Bay Backpack’s grant opportunities help you find the right program for you. Also check out our grant writing tips to strengthen your proposal.

Additionally, the Bay Backpack blog features new education initiatives and in-depth resources, such as ideas for classroom projects. Educators can share information with each other on the blog by leaving comments or writing guest entries about their own environmental education programs.

Bay Backpack provides educators with the necessary resources to give their students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE), which are extensive projects that allow students to gain a deep understanding of environmental issues in the Chesapeake Bay and its local streams and rivers. In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, Bay Program partners committed to continually increasing students’ understanding of the watershed through participation in teacher-supported MWEEs and rigorous, inquiry-based instruction..

To learn more, visit



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