ESTC Workshops--Restoration Science

These workshops were held at the NOAA Environmental Science Training Center in Oxford, Maryland, on February 28 and March 14, 2013.

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its 64,000-square-mile watershed is an enormous undertaking. Four centuries of population growth, land use changes, and the harvesting of Bay species have taken their toll on the Bay ecosystem, resulting in polluted waterways and dwindling natural resources. Today, after more than two decades of Bay and watershed restoration efforts, there has been a decrease in the amount of pollution coming to the Bay from the major tributaries. Although that is good news, a clean Bay is the ultimate restoration measure, and there is still quite a way to go. Some signs are positive, but other key indicators are lagging. Overall, the Bay remains degraded. However, people are working harder than ever to bring the estuary back to health through restoration efforts.

During this workshop series, participants explored the science that underlies some of the major restoration strategies being implemented in the Chesapeake region and considered how some of this science could be applied to education-scale restoration efforts being supported by the environmental education community in the region. The workshop fcused on species/ecosystem restoration using the Harris Creek oyster restoration project as a case study for understanding the evolution of species/ecosystem restoration science. The group also looked at wetland restoration efforts to illustrate the process of habitat restoration at places like Poplar Island and in the Port of Baltimore. Workshop goals:

  • Environmental educators develop an understanding of the science underlying large- and small-scale restoration efforts taking place in the Chesapeake Bay region.
  • Provide participants access to and knowledge of tools for exploring issues related to restoration science.
  • Provide participants access to and knowledge of high-quality existing education resources that help people understand and contribute to Bay restoration activities.
  • Cultivate hands-on/field-based activities for illustrating (conducting) the components of restoration science.
  • Provide the opportunity for educators and scientists to interact on topics related to Chesapeake Bay restoration.