By Judy Wink
A new year is upon us and with the turn of the calendar, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is alive and bustling with new projects, things to do and plans for Bay stewardship.
Some activities for young and old include more education and camp opportunities. CBEC is working on a new STEM program supported by a NASA Cooperative Agreement for Education. This project gives students the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology in collecting and analyzing water quality and weather data that will be used by scientists in varied research projects. Data collection is completed with Rovers and Aerokats (water platforms and kites.) Several weeks of new camp activities are slated, including a STEM camp and Travel camp.
CBEC’s AREN (AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network) Educator, Eileen Friedman prepares to release an AEROKAT. This kite will be taking atmospheric data for students to analyze and interpret.
The adults will have the opportunity to participate in LIFE, Maryland Naturalist, and lecture series. Volunteer programs under the guidance of Courtney Leigh have been designed to be more meaningful and beneficial to the environment. The Aquaponics Project headed up by Julie Carleton will get into full swing in 2017. The geodome located in the exhibit area will be producing fish and plants within a closed system.
Restoration projects are on the horizon with availability of grant funding that was somewhat lacking over the past few years. Focus for 2017 will be oyster and wildlife habitat, meadow, shoreline and buffer zone improvement.
CBEC’s AREN Educator, Hanna Spongberg calibrates instruments on a ROVER. This remote-operated boat will be taking water quality data for students to analyze and interpret.
Our upcoming year is shaping up to be quite ambitious in goals and opportunities. I am sure the staff, board, volunteers and members will make it happen! Thanks to all for a great 2016 and set sites on a more productive 2017 with environmental stewardship on the top of the list.
All the best, Judy Wink.