Explore Environmental Preservation Sites Online

April 21, 2020

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)With the support of our local partners and associations, Four Rivers is dedicated to preserving the attractions, locations, cultures, and stories of the Chesapeake Bay and its inhabitants, both past and present. The confluence of the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the area’s numerous creeks and four rivers—Severn, South, Rhode, and West—defined the area’s natural and man-made landscape and shaped the lives of those who settled along its shores.  

Because of the connection between heritage and stewardship, some of our sites make environmental preservation an important focus of their mission. Learn more about these sites and their virtual resources. 

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is devoted to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay. CBF leads the way in restoring the Bay and its rivers and streams.

For more than 40 years, CBF has provided meaningful watershed experiences to more than one million students. In order to continue their educational efforts, CBF provides a weekly roundup of engaging and inspirational Bay content to enjoy at home. CBF educators are also hard at work creating new ways for educators and students to keep learning outside and learning about the environment, sharing new interactive and social resources to keep you connected to the Bay and the watershed from your own backyard, porch, or park.

Or check out CBF’s weekly “Ask an Expert” video series. How does the Chesapeake Bay’s amazing natural system work? And how can we restore and protect it? You can explore these answers with CBF experts.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides science-based knowledge to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. SERC leads research on coastal ecosystems—where the land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet. Even from home you can be a part of their work.

Follow SERC’s research online, including their current projects and work with the Coastal Carbon Research Coordination Network, a consortium of biogeochemists, ecologists, pedologists, and coastal land managers with the goal of accelerating the pace of discovery in coastal wetland carbon science by providing our community with access to data, analysis tools, and synthesis opportunities.

SERC also offers free digital resources and tools to support educators, students, citizen scientists, and the general public provided by SERC. You can be a scientist from your own home or community. Projects include the Chesapeake Bay Otter Alliance, Chesapeake Bay Dolphin Watch, and Ebird.  These are just a few projects, find other projects in your area that you can become a part of using SciStarter. Interested participating in a Digital Citizen Science Project? SERC’s scientists have relaunched InvaderID. Through Invader ID, you can help SERC track changes in fouling communities and look for new occurrences of invasive species.

Arundel Rivers Federation

The Arundel Rivers Federation works with our local communities to educate and engage citizens on issues related to protecting water in our watershed, to enforce existing environmental laws, to promote stream restoration, and to advocate for common sense environmental policy. The organization has formed from a recent merger of the Riverkeeper organizations of the South, Rhode and West Rivers, and engages approximately 1,000 volunteers a year to monitor and heal the South, West & Rhode Rivers. Volunteers help with stream clean-ups, tree plantings, shoreline grass plantings, water sampling, and oyster restoration. The Federation’s new virtual programming (including their live “Ask Me Anything” sessions) and many active projects are best followed via their Facebook page and their Blog.

Annapolis Maritime Museum

The Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park (AMM) educates youth and adults about the Annapolis area’s rich maritime heritage and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay through programs, exhibits and community events. This history, which includes the environmental impacts of humans due to over-harvesting and depletion of the oyster population, must be preserved, remembered, and understood by all future stewards of our environment.

AMM recently added the renovated Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park, 12-acre waterfront. There’s no need to experience this park virtually, canoe and kayak launches are currently available for you to get outside. Get exercise while practicing safe social distancing. Launches are located at the Museum Campus and Park Campus.

Among their virtual learning resources AMM offers at-home activities on Watershed Stewardship, including  Chesapeake Bay Program where you can discover the Chesapeake Bay, the latest Chesapeake Bay Report Card, and the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System with real time water quality and meteorological data.

The list doesn’t end here! Stay tuned for more updates and highlights tomorrow as we share the ways some of our environmental organizations are virtually celebrating Earth Day.

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