Join us while we explore salt marshes, tidal streams, sandy beaches and the open water in the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is considered the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean and receives water from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. We will swim, kayak, snorkel, and hike our way through all of the Bay’s major ecosystems. During this program, participants discover the importance of protecting estuaries. As scientists, we will make observations and collect data following a worldwide sampling protocol. Participants use tools such as binoculars, dip nets, snorkels and kayaks to directly experience these unique ecosystems. By the end of the Chesapeake Discovery expedition, participants depart having a better understanding of the threats and solutions that face this natural wonder.
Day 1 (Monday): Arrive at Green Adventure Project headquarters (located at Triple C Camp)
Upon arrival, you will be met by our experienced expedition leaders and introduced to the other participants. Following introductions, we will review the map, double check our gear and pack our expedition vehicle. After lunch and swim tests in the pool, we will depart for the coast. Our route follows the many rivers flowing from the foothills towards the Bay. We will have time to run, play and stretch our legs when we arrive on the shores of the Bay. We will spend the night at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at First Landing State Park.
Day 2 (Tuesday): Chesapeake Bay
We start the day with our Outdoor Adventure Safety Briefing and then we will explore sea grass beds with snorkels and dip nets. Snorkeling allows us to float above the grass and observe crabs and shrimp, who call the beds home. We will identify various species we collect and add them to our species list.
We utilize a seine net to collect small fish for observation. Following lunch, we study the formation and function of sand dunes and the impacts of coastal development. We discover the beach at night as we search for bioluminescent algae and nocturnal wildlife. Later in the evening, we return to our camp at First Landing State Park.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Chesapeake Bay
After we break camp, we will experience the estuary with kayaks. The kayaks bring us close to the water and allow for stealthy approaches, perfect for birding. While kayaking, we discuss the importance of this unique ecosystem. After we finish our kayak trip, we will hike along the east coast beaches of Virginia. We will set up a new campsite to experience a different side of the Bay. On an after-dinner night hike, we will engage our senses to identify the stars glowing overhead.
Day 4 (Thursday): Atlantic Ocean
In the morning, we visit with staff from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. During our visit we will discuss current coastal ocean and estuarine research projects. We will hike along the salt marsh and observe the transition of plants from the high tide to low tide zones. Participants have the opportunity to go salt marsh surfing - pack a change of clothes! On the shoreline, we complete the NaGISA sampling protocol and add our data to an international database. On our final evening, we will enjoy a taste of the Bay with sea pickle, oysters, and crab. We will close out the week with a campfire and time for sharing great stories.
Day 5 (Friday): Return to Green Adventure Project headquarters
The day starts with an art in nature activity, learning basic sketching and journaling techniques scientists’ use when observing nature. After our activity, we break camp and begin our trip home. When we arrive at back at Green Adventure Project headquarters, we will unpack and reflect on our adventure before saying goodbye.
5-day adventure** $495.00 ($595.00 for Scouts earning Merit Badges)
5-day adventure $650.00
** April 1-5, 2013 Spring Break Expedition
August 5-9, 2013
Groups will be comprised of co-ed explorers in age appropriate divisions. This expedition is suited for travelers between the ages of 9 and 16.