975 Indian Landing Road
Millersville, MD 21108
tel. 410-222-3822

Chesapeake Connections reaches every 6th grade student through an engaging, real-world restoration program. Learning starts in the classroom when Chesapeake Connections visits the students for a pre-trip lesson aimed at building background knowledge and generating excitement. Students then embark on an environmental stewardship field experience where they explore a local ecosystem and engage in a number of activities. Examples include collecting water quality data, planting native vegetation, evaluating environmental health, and arts integration. Chesapeake Connections combines learning, stewardship, and exploration in a local setting and encourages students to apply their in-classroom learning to real-world environmental problems and their solutions.  

*The Chesapeake Connections Program fulfils the 10 hour service learning requirement for 6th graders.




Restoration Projects

Grasses in Classes

Students grow and propagate redhead underwater grasses in their classroom over several months. Teachers and students set up experiments, record growth rates and record data. Students learn about the care, propagation, status and importance of underwater grasses to the Chesapeake Bay. Underwater grasses raised are planted at the soft shoreline restoration project at Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena, MD.

A student looking at an underwater grass growing in a tank.


Oyster Restoration

The Oyster Program links middle schools with the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Students explore life in and around the Chesapeake Bay past and present. They identify oyster spat, measure growth and plant the oysters on a local reef.

A collage of photos with students on a boat, a pile of oysters and a student tonging for oysters.

Stormwater Management Planting

In partnership with the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works (DPW), students participate in regenerative stormwater conveyance projects. Chesapeake Connections staff visit classrooms and initiate an investigation of the issue of stormwater. Students identify storm drains, outfalls, and impervious surfaces through the lens of a stormwater engineer. Students then participate in planting native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees at new stormwater projects to restore habitat, promote nutrient uptake, and stabilize soil.

A collage of photos with students planting trees, planting grasses, holding a small net in a stream and many hands covered in dirt.

(Students Taking Real Environmental Action through Monitoring)

As an integral part of the science curriculum, the Chesapeake Connections team visits students in their classroom for a pre-trip lesson aimed at building background knowledge.  Classroom lessons provide insight into the analysis of stream health, biotic vs. abiotic stream components, aquatic macroinvertebrate anatomy and identification, dichotomous key practice, and a stream sampling simulation.

The outdoor field experience takes students to a nearby stream ecosystem where they take action to conduct chemical, physical, and biological testing to collect data about the stream. In addition to collecting information on dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrates, salinity, temperature, and turbidity, students collect, identify, and categorize living aquatic macroinvertebrates to analyze the health of the stream ecosystem. Students enhance their environmental literacy with site exploration, and an art project.

Monarch Butterflies

Chesapeake Connections also supports the first grade environmental literacy program, “How Can We Help Monarch Butterflies?” They assess the condition of Monarch butterfly gardens at schools and support selected schools annually, installing new gardens as needed and providing planting support for existing gardens.

A collage of photos with a student planting milkweed, a monarch butterfly on a purple flower, and a monarch caterpillar on a leaf.



Eóin Oneill eoneill@aacps.org 

Anna Youngk aeyoungk@aacps.org 

Amanda Miller akmiller@aacps.org   

Arlington Echo 410-222-3822