A Student's Take on the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint

What is the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint? A video I recently helped produce with my school's green club, ECO Sherwood at Sherwood High School, working alongside the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Student Leadership program, helps answer that very question:

The Blueprint is a process that coordinates Washington, D.C. and the six states of the Chesapeake Watershed to clean up their pollution to the Bay by 2025. Our video describes the Blueprint and maps out simple things that  students, parents, teachers, or anyone can do in their daily lives to lessen pollution into our beloved Bay. To make the concepts pop, we chose to use a dry-erase whiteboard to display images in a fun way. We also filmed some projects that our club had done, to illustrate more vividly actions that others can take.

This project meant the world to me, as it should since I am a proud resident of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed! I treasure the Bay and all its wonderful resources, and I hope the video can make a difference. All the hard work was well worth the outcome, for now thousands (hopefully) of people will view this video and make some small change to help our Bay.

CBF has always been a part of my life. My mom is a naturalist and loved taking me out with her on many CBF sponsored field trips. I have also been on overnight trips to island education centers, as well as day trips on the Skipjack Stanley Norman, canoes, or boating over oyster restoration projects! CBF has helped open my eyes to the beauty of our Bay and the efforts we can take as citizens to help keep the Chesapeake a marvel for many generations to come.

I hope not just Maryland residents view this video, but citizens from every state in the watershed, and collectively they make a change in their daily routine. While many people think that one small change will have no impact on the Chesapeake's health, but in reality, that is complete crazy talk! Any small change can make a huge impact, because think about it: If every student turned the faucet off while brushing their teeth or washing their hands, it could add up to a lot of water conserved.

The video is imperative for the Bay's health because it promotes the changes we all can make towards helping the Bay, and highlights the efforts our government leaders are also supposed to be taking in order to clean the Bay by 2025. Ultimately, I hope that after viewing the video, people start to see that they can make a difference every day to help save the Bay.

—Hayley Mazur, Class of 2015, Sherwood High School

Share this video with friends and family. We need everyone to know and fight for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint!


Running to Save the Bay!

DSC_0077Photos by Jeff Rogge/CBF Staff.  

Nearly 15,000 people ran across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Sunday, Nov. 9, a stream of fit humanity in colorful tech attire arching over the Bay flowing beneath. All deserve praise for participating in the 10k, but one runner in particular, one speck of color out in front of that stream, deserves special mention.

On Saturday, cross country star Shreya Nalubola ran the final race of her illustrious high school career on what has been described as the toughest course in the state. The meet was the Maryland Girls State Cross Country Championship at Hereford High School. She came in third.

Rather than sleep in on Sunday, however, Shreya pulled herself out of bed, and ran the Across the Bay 10k Chesapeake Bay Bridge Race. No easy course itself, the bridge features a two-mile incline. Shreya came in first place in her age group, and 11th overall of 9,662 women runners!

DSC_0084Shreya, a senior at Centennial High School in Howard County, didn't do the Bridge Race just for more exercise, or the spectacular view. She is a student advocate for the Chesapeake Bay. She wanted to do her part to promote the national treasure and to underscore its endangered health.

"In sixth grade, I attended a field trip with my classmates to the Chesapeake Bay, where we were able to experience and study it in-depth. The field trip made an impact on my young mind as we fished for crabs and oysters, convincing me of the importance of preserving the health of our ecosystem," Shreya said.

This past spring Shreya also spent time on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's skipjack Stanley Norman where she learned more about the human impact to the Bay's health. She decided to join CBF's Student Wave Leadership program.

Two other students chose to run in Sunday's race across the iconic bridge from Annapolis to Kent Island as part of their commitment to advocacy. Charlotte Waldman and Garrett Weintrob, both 10th graders at the Maret School in Washington, D.C., help support CBF's Oyster Restoration Center in Shady Side, MD, among many other activities.  

"I hope that events such as the Across the Bay 10k will continue to raise awareness about the problems that affect the watershed, including pollution, agricultural development, and deforestation. In the future, perhaps changes can be made and efforts can be put into reducing pollution and restoring forest buffers in order to better support and protect the Chesapeake," Shreya said.

Thanks Shreya, Charlotte, and Garrett! The future of the Bay is in your hands—and running shoes. 

—Tom Zolper, CBF's Maryland Communications Coordinator


Bay Blood

 

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Jacqueline Stomski dreaming of the Bay from far away!

Some kids around here grow up with the Bay in their veins: Boating from Memorial Day to Labor Day; crabbing, fishing, swimming, and tubing all summer long. Their parents grew up here, too—they loved this piece of the world so much that they just couldn't leave.

The Bay might not be the ocean, but it might be something better. It captivates anyone who comes to see it with the mighty trials and tribulations of this delicate ecosystem. A place so rich in history, and we are fortunate enough to call it home.

I've lived here my whole life, but I don't think I can say I quite have Bay Blood. I've never spent my summers on my family's boat, my crabbing experience is limited, in fact I've never picked my own crabs. What I can say though is that whenever I am gone, I miss this sliver of the world desperately.

The first time I felt connected to the Bay was on my first school trip to Echo Hill in elementary school. We collected aquatic organisms to survey the different populations living where the Susquehanna meets the Bay. For the first time, I was on the Bay, in the sun, and I loved it.

At Echo Hill they told us of how when John Smith sailed the Chesapeake, the water was blue and he could see the oysters on the bottom. Looking at the murky waters today, I still struggle to believe that. From that day forward I've dreamed of a blue Bay. 

Jacqueline Stomski, Senior at Annapolis High School and CBF Student Correspondent Spring 2014 

Interested in becoming a student correspondent, documenting life on the Bay and its rivers and streams? Click here to learn more.


Somewhere Between the Sky and the Water


Photo1Annie Prevas, a rising senior at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore City, visited CBF's Karen Noonan Center with her class in November 2013. Take a look at this vivid, Thoreau-like piece she wrote about her visit.

Our group was pulled from their slumber this morning to watch the Bay come alive as the sun rose. Through the bayberry bushes and across the beach from the house was an old wooden dock. From the dock you could see miles in all directions. The wetlands continued to the north, with soggy grasses swaying as the shallow muck glistened. Small birds swooped up and down over the reeds, looking for food. To the south was the water, flickering with oranges and reds, with islands of Bay mush and tall grasses waving good morning from miles away. To the west were several osprey nests high above our heads.

The waterfowl looked down at us with warning yellow eyes, telling us to care for the land and Bay they call home. We were surrounded by life, but our focus right then, was on the rising sun, welcoming us to the new day with vibrant colors and warmth. The sun began to peek out from the horizon with its rays reaching to the land, giving life. The small slice of the round sun grew taller, until the shadow across the bottom of our sun became evident. The partial solar eclipse was hardly noticeable to most of the world, but we didn't avert our burning eyes once.

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Annie and her friends during their recent trip to CBF’s Karen Noonan Center.

I felt myself living so intensely in this moment. My face was tingling from the slight chill of the November air, and the salty wind blew my hair wildly around my face. I watched  the sun and felt my breath and heart work together to keep me alive. I was somewhere between the sky and the water, watching the light come in, and my appreciation for their roles in keeping the world alive made my heart smile. 

Then, my whole body smiled at the crescent sun. It smiled back by sprinkling pinks and oranges across my face. The dock faded out of my consciousness and became a hammock of wind enveloping me keeping me afloat in a place above the water and below the sky, where I was doing nothing but existing. I was just existing, though it seemed, I was existing more completely than I had before in my life. The sun came up, and the Bay was awake.

Annie Prevas

Interested in becoming a student correspondent, documenting life on the Bay and its rivers and streams? Click here to learn more.


Shady Side Elementary School Students Take a Stand for the Bay

 

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Shady Side students planting oysters in the West River. Photo courtesy of Shady Side Elementary

The students at Shady Side Elementary School in southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland are no strangers to the Bay and life on the water. The town of Shady Side is located on a peninsula, surrounded on the north and west by the West River and on the east by the Chesapeake. Many students are children of watermen who still crab, oyster, and fish to make a living. The school sits less than a quarter mile from the water—and CBF's Maryland Oyster Restoration Center.

So, last year, when 5th grade teachers Kimberly McAllister, Molly Tremel, and Jenna Weckel asked their students to "Take a Stand" for a cause, the Bay seemed like the natural choice.

"These students were raised on the water. They're surrounded by it every day and, for many, its health has a direct impact on their lives. The students worked with CBF last year to grow oysters and then planted them in the West River. Meghan Hoffman and the rest of CBF's Maryland Oyster Restoration team really got the kids excited about oysters—and showed them that they can make a difference," said Tremel.

The students were so motivated they wrote letters and hand-delivered them to U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin urging them to continue funding Bay restoration. But they didn't stop there.

They took it one step further—creating postcards, developing a business plan, and selling the cards to friends, family, and others—to raise money to support the Bay. Their efforts were highly successful. In two years, they've raised nearly $4,000 to help CBF grow and plant more oysters in the Bay!

John Rodenhausen, Maryland Director of Development, was on-hand for this year's check presentation and was able to address the nearly 60 5th graders involved in this project. "As an educator and a fundraiser for CBF, it is moments like this that give me greater confidence that the Chesapeake will be saved, not just in these students' lifetimes, but in mine, too!"

The project has become a staple of the 5th grade experience—and a bit of a competition, too. Weckel explained, "We've already spoken to the incoming class about the project. They're excited and energized by the opportunity to raise more money for CBF than last year's class!"

We all have a role to play in saving the Chesapeake. CBF is grateful to the entire Shady Side Elementary School community, including 5th grade teachers Kimberly McAllister, Molly Tremel, and Jenna Weckel, as well as their students, for their support, ingenuity, and hard work.

Together, we will Save the Bay and its rivers and streams!

Brie Wilson, Donor Communications Manager 

Read more about the Shady Side Elementary School Students' efforts here!


PA Students Explore Our Local Waterways with CBF's Susquehanna Watershed Education Program

 

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Students explore Pennsylvania's waterways and the critters that live in them.

Susquehanna Watershed Education Program (SWEP) kicks-off the Spring Season and Honors a Local Teacher

For the past 24 years, teams of CBF educators have taken to the Susquehanna River and other Pennsylvania waterways to explore the vast watershed with students and teachers from 85 different middle and high schools. The mission of the Susquehanna Watershed Education Program (SWEP) is always the same: to teach students about the importance of clean water, to show how stream systems function, and to conduct hands-on experiments that engage and excite a student's sense of exploration.

SWEP Spring Education Season Started March 24 

Nearly every school day SWEP Educators Tom Parke and Alex McCrickard hit the water with their traveling fleet of canoes, 12 in all. Affectionately named by students, In a Pickle, Peas-in-a-Pod, and Tippa-Canoe, and the others have become far more than just boats--each one is a part of the team and of the experience. Through them, students get to feel and connect with the water. And for students who may have never been in a boat--the SWEP canoes can also help to instill trust and lessen their fears of the water. 

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SWEP canoes are a part of the team and the experience of learning outside.

The spring season runs through June, with each of the day's lessons--whether it's a hands-on experience with the critters living in the water or the technical water chemistry component--promoting active learning in a way that goes way beyond the classroom. Yet, each one is by-design a compliment to in-class studies.

Honoring a Teacher's Commitment

After 35 years of teaching science at Lower Dauphin Middle School, Mr. Ben Cooper will be retiring. For 19 of those years he has been taking his students out on the water with SWEP, and says "We study freshwater and watersheds, what better way to learn about them than to be in one."

On Tuesday, April 8, Mr. Cooper and 22 of his 6th grade science students joined Tom and Alex for a day on the water at Memorial Lake in Lebanon County. They had planned to explore the Swatara Creek but high-water levels led them to the calmer lake waters.

This was certainly not the first time Tom has been on the water with Cooper.

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CBF Educator Alex McCrickard (left), Lower Dauphin Middle School Teacher Ben Cooper (center), CBF Educator Tom Parke (right).

"I first met Mr. Cooper, Ben, when I was in 5th grade. As a student at Lower Dauphin Middle School, I participated in one of his summer stream study camp programs. Now as an adult, and educator myself, it has been an honor to lead Ben and his 6th graders on the same waterways that I grew up exploring--some with Ben."

Mr. Cooper may be retiring, but there were no signs of somberness as the group paddled into shore. Singing "row, row, row your boat" and counting down "21 bottles of milk on the wall," their songs and laughter could be heard from the shore.

One of the students proudly shared, "I had to do all of my homework, and get it right, just to be able to come today." She was proud of her achievement, as well she should be. And, while brief, her words speak volumes about the value of the program and of student recognition of the rewards of hard work.

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Loading the canoes is just part of the daily wrap-up.

After the canoes were loaded back onto the rig and gear put away, Tom surprised Ben by presenting him with a special gift of gratitude and recognition of his commitment to clean water, to his students, and to education. Local TV and newspapers covered the award presentation, with one naming Mr. Cooper a "Hometown Hero."

Tom said, "I asked Ben what he was going to miss most about teaching. He said, 'The kids, I will miss my sixth graders, and the canoe trips, too. But I will continue getting out on the water on my own.'"

Dan Berra, Principal at Lower Dauphin Middle School shared, "Mr. Cooper's commitment to environmental education has touched the lives of literally hundreds of students over his career. We are thrilled that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has chosen to recognize his work in educating our students that we all have a responsibility to care for the watershed in which we live."

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SWEP educators with Lower Dauphin Middle School's Ben Cooper and his 6th grade science class after a day on Memorial Lake.

CBF would like to extend our gratitude to Mr. Cooper for 35 years of teaching his students the importance of science and water studies, and for encouraging them to love and explore the world around them. We are especially grateful for the 19 years that he has shared those experiences with us.

Before getting onto the school bus to leave, Ben confidently shouted back to us that he would be seeing the team out on the water, another day.

If you are a teacher who wants to get involved with CBF, please visit our website to learn how. 

 —Kelly Donaldson, CBF's Pennsylvania Communications and Media Coordinator


Reflections on CBF's Expedition Chesapeake

 How CBF's Expedition Chesapeake led to my career in environmental education.

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Kelsey Church Brunton.

Eight years ago, during my junior year at Turner Ashby High School in Bridgewater, Va., I decided to be a part of a unique paddling expedition—the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Expedition Chesapeake to be exact, also lovingly called Bay Bound. Twelve other high school students and I journeyed from the fertile Shenandoah Valley to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay over the course of 30 days during the summer of 2005. 

As we canoed the Shenandoah River and kayaked the Potomac, we discovered the story of the watershed. We witnessed the impact of each unbuffered river bank, waterfront property, wastewater treatment plant, farm land, and the impact of 17 million citizens living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed as we journeyed to CBF's Port Isobel Island Education Center in the middle of the Bay. We were able to talk with other high school students and watermen on Tangier Island. Many of these people depend on the water for their livelihood, just as farmers in Rockingham County depend on the land. On the Bay Bound experience, I learned how my actions "up river" have a direct effect on the health of the Bay.     

I returned to my high school feeling energized about the Bay, environmental awareness, and education. After I graduated high school, I pursued a college degree in environmental science while maintaining my relationship with CBF. Serving as a CBF oyster restoration intern, I spent many glorious days out on a boat working oyster reefs. I also had the opportunity to assist in facilitating an education trip at CBF's Karen Noonan Education Center in Maryland. Looking back, it is clear to me now that CBF and that month-long expedition have opened so many doors for me. 

One of those was the opportunity to attend graduate school at Virginia Tech and work for the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) program. While completing my master's degree in agricultural and extension education, I worked as a program coordinator for VALOR—a new, premier leadership development program at Virginia Tech for adults in agriculture. Each of the 10 members of this year's inaugural VALOR class is challenged to engage in all segments of the industry, to create collaborative solutions, and to promote agriculture inside and outside of the industry. 

The two-year VALOR program provides class members with opportunities to meet legislators, decision makers, industry leaders, agencies, and organizations during 10 regional visits, one national trip, and one international trip. For example, while in Washington D.C., class members met with Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, representatives from Farm Credit, and the American Farm Bureau, as well as professionals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and America's Promise.

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VALOR participants set crab pots, dredged for oysters, and trolled underwater grasses while learning about connections between agriculture and the water. Photo by CBF Staff.

So when the VALOR director and I started planning for a seminar in the Northern Neck of Virginia, I knew exactly whom to call: the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. CBF Virginia Executive Director Ann Jennings, CBF Hampton Roads Senior Scientist Chris Moore, and two CBF educational staff members hosted VALOR members at CBF's Port Isobel Island for two days in July. After setting crab pots, fishing off the pier, canoeing, oyster dredging, and trolling underwater grasses, participants had a greater understanding of the health of the Bay and agriculture's role within the watershed. Many candid conversations followed, and opportunities for collaboration were discussed. Read their thoughts here.  

I felt honored to be a part of another experience that builds bridges between agriculture and the environment. And it all started with that Bay Bound journey eight years ago.

—Kelsey Church Brunton 

 Kelsey Church Brunton recently graduated with a master's degree from Virginia Tech. She currently lives in Blacksburg, Va., and on the weekends enjoys hiking the Appalachian Mountains and kayaking on the New and James Rivers. She recently accepted a position at Virginia Tech as the 4-VA Grant Assessment Coordinator. The 4-VA Grant is a multi-institutional initiative to enhance the success rates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The collaborative effort also intends to decrease the cost of delivering instruction, increasing access to programs, and increase research competitiveness. When Kelsey is not working, "I am always trying to find a way to spend time on the Bay."  


Fourth Graders Work to Reduce Waste


NewAfter participating in CBF's Smith Island Education Program, our school (Chesapeake Public Charter School) realized how much of our food we might be wasting. So, we decided to start monitoring our lunch leftovers. We started small, just sorting the leftovers from 4th graders. Student volunteers, headed up by Smith Island alumna Debra Rosenstadt, began to help their peers sort their leftovers into: Recycling, Compost/Vermicompost, S.L.O.P. ("Stuff Left on Plate"), and landfill. 

Each day, these volunteers stayed in from recess to weigh the amounts of each and graph it on our class line plot (to the nearest ¼ pound). Certainly a dirty job, so look out Mike Rowe! Our S.L.O.P. Cops spread the word on how to reduce waste: saving it for later, snack share (a special bin to leave it in for others to take if wanted), etc.

As a school we have always recycled, composted, and vermi-composted (each grade has their own work bin). But, this school year, we decided to go schoolwide with the S.L.O.P. program as well. Two fourth graders each month volunteered to be S.L.O.P. Cops. They collected, consolidated, and weighed the S.L.O.P. from 331 students, grades K-8. The S.L.O.P. this year was picked up each afternoon by a local organic farmer, Brett Grosghal from Even' Star Farm. He uses the S.L.O.P. to feed his nine hogs and flock of chickens, so our waste was recycled back into food we could eat (a great lesson in where food comes from, especially bacon and eggs!). Chesapeake Public Charter School (CPCS) even has five resident chickens that take in some of our S.L.O.P., just on a smaller scale than the organic farm. CPCS chicken eggs are sold to our school families looking for a local, organic option. As Katelyn Kovach, 4th grader and CBF Smith Island alumna, puts it, "Your S.L.O.P. made my breakfast!"

Our 4th grade S.L.O.P. Cop volunteers learned other skills as well. They used Microsoft Excel to keep track of the data, researched facts about pigs, chickens, landfills, and made daily announcements to share the data and information with our school community. Included in their announcements were "SLOPPY Shout Outs" commending students or classes that did very well with reducing their S.L.O.P. that day.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Chesapeake Public Charter School prevented more than 800 pounds of unused energy in the form of food scraps from going to a landfill and instead helped recycle it into locally grown food.

April Skinner, Fourth Grade Chesapeake Public Charter School Teacher  


Students Spring Into Action: From Pollution Runoff Nightmare to Native Garden Paradise

Native garden (3)Fourth graders hard at work planting a native garden at their school, Chesapeake Public Charter School, to prevent harmful polluted runoff. Photos courtesy of April Skinner.

After having the University of Maryland Extension office visit our school and conduct professional development for our staff, it was very apparent that our school yard has pollution runoff issues

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Before planting native plants to soak up polluted runoff.

We discovered that nearly a foot of soil had washed away from the front flagpole area of our school (Chesapeake Public Charter School) since our doors opened in 2008. After looking at pictures from our dedication ceremony in 2008, we saw a huge difference in the soil and the amount of plant growth in a 800-square-foot area. This high traffic area's soil was so compacted it was like concrete. This was a great real-world problem solving opportunity and a perfect tie in to our erosion unit from the fall.

Fourth graders jumped into action. After calculating the perimeter of the space, we set out pavers to build an 8-inch wall around the area. Next, we calculated the volume of mulch and compost we would need to till in and cover this area. With the help and donations of many of our parents, we were able to fill our raised bed with 400-cubic feet of rich, dark, organic matter (including some of our school's own grown compost). 

Our school's environmental center provided more than 100 native, student-grown plants and trees to fill this space. Each student then researched one plant and made a field marker to educate the visitors of our school to each of the species we planted. We had three patrons ask us to identify plants before we were even done planting, as they wanted to plant the same in their yard!

 

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Forty-five students (grades 4 and 7), two teachers, and three parent volunteers helped transform this runoff nightmare into a native garden paradise.

So, after one HOT workday, 45 students (grades 4 and 7), two teachers, and three parent volunteers, we finally transformed this runoff nightmare into a native garden paradise. It will be a work in progress, as we want to add a walkway to the flagpole and a few benches. But for now it is a beautiful addition to our school entryway. It also acts as an extension to our Monarch Waystation and CPCS Vegetable Garden.

Our fourth graders are now the voice for reducing pollution runoff. They can tell you that the plant roots now absorb the water, instead of letting it runoff down the hill, carrying soil and harmful nutrients with it. We transformed a semi-pervious surface into a sponge which can hold water or at least slow it down and reduce pollution runoff.

April Skinner, Fourth Grade Chesapeake Public Charter School Teacher  

Native garden (2)


Reflections from a Summer Intern

Emma RodvienAs summer intern season begins, we are wistfully thinking about all the inspiring young leaders that have helped us in summers past. Last year we were fortunate enough to have Emma Rodvien come intern with us in CBF's Education Department as part of the William & Mary Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow Fellowship (TCT). Emma had taken part in many meaningful CBF experiences pior to her internship—from participating in a Karen Noonan Center Field Experience to taking part in several CBF Student Leadership Courses. These experiences led her to pursue education in college and to come back to us again last summer as an intern. Take a peak below at her thoughts on her lastest CBF experience. 

 

As I prepared myself for this internship, I distilled a set of questions that I hoped to answer during my time as an intern. I applied to the TCT program with the overarching goal of gaining insight into the education field. If learning about environmental education was my organizing question, my supporting questions were as follows: How does outdoor education differ from classroom education? In what ways can the lessons and experiences from outside the classroom be effectively introduced within the classroom? How can I utilize my interests and talentsscience and otherwisefor education purposes? Investigating these questions was a foremost expectation for my internship.

I dove into my internship hoping to learn more about the world of environmental non-profits. Prior to the internship, I was familiar with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation from a student's perspective. Naturally, gaining an "insider's perspective" into CBF as an employee or educator was a true curiosity of mine, one that would allow me to explore the intersections of my interests in communications, social science, and the environment.

Observations from the Field
Perhaps the most meaningful lesson that I learned throughout my internship was how the Bay can intrigue every sense. This concept was certainly embodied in the field experiences of my internship! Each of my senses was heightened in the field, captivated by the life and spirit of the Bay. To focus on just one would be to deny the Bay's influence on another; instead, I will recount Bay memories from the perspective of all five senses:

1. I saw...  The orange sunrise over Port Isobel's eastern marshes, the pink sunset over its western shore, the frantic scattering of fiddler crabs around my feet, the sky severed by lightning bolts, illuminated in a tie-dyed pattern of black and white, the slow and synchronized Clagett cows migrating between fields, the momentary terror that dances across students' faces at first touch of a catfish, the proud smiles when they finally pick one up and hold it.

2. I smelled... The pungent odors of a wastewater treatment plant, the salty smack of Virginia Beach air, the slow and wafting scent of marsh detritus, the sweet smell of blue crabs and the tang of Old Bay seasoning, the earthy air as a storm blows in over Port Isobel.

3. I tasted... Sustainably grown radishes from Clagett Farm, the oily lips of menhaden bait, the bitter sting of brackish water against my tongue, the delicious flakiness of Captain Charles' fried trout.

4. I heard... The comforting cluck of Clagett's chickens, the deafening roar of airplanes and helicopters over the Potomac, the wind meandering its way through marsh grasses, the friendly horns of Tangier's boats, the roll of thunder and the crack of lightning, the subtle "whoooosh" of a blue heron overhead, the bubbling of blue crabs recirculating their water.

5. I touched... The pointy tops of Black Needlerush, the slippery side of a Spot fish, the prickly spikes of a Northern Puffer, the perfect smoothness of Diamondback Terrapin eggs, the blisteringly hot black seat of my canoe, the worn ropes of a trawl net, the bristly hair of Clagett's cows.

—Emma Rodvien

 Ensure that Emma and future generations continue to have these life-changing moments along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint!