NOAA 2002-R423
Contact: Stephanie Balian
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and The Smithsonian Associates join forces to launch the first annual Wild, Wild Watershed summer camp to teach kids from the D.C. area about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The camp is scheduled July 8-12, at the Smithsonian's S. Dillon Ripley Center in Washington.

"Encouraging students and providing them with the opportunity to join in a hands-on restoration activity further connects people to the plants and animals of the Chesapeake Bay — making a better world for both," said Seaberry Nachbar, educational coordinator for NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office. "NOAA is proud to be partnering with the Smithsonian to provide local kids in need with this unique educational opportunity. Watersheds are critical to wildlife survival and to the overall well being of this countries' environment. This camp provides kids with the opportunity to discover the watershed's critical role in supporting area ecosystems."

A total of 16 students, ages 9 to 12, will learn to build a mini ecosystem aquarium, conduct experiments on the effects of pollution, and use a model of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to illustrate how contamination can spread through an ecosystem. Students will also take a field trip to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, located on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay, where they will tie together experiments in water chemistry on the Rhodes River with a canoe trip on Muddy Creek.

"The Chesapeake Bay watershed is very important to our area locally, it includes part of six states plus the entire District of Columbia," said Marni Tamayo, public affairs specialist for The Smithsonian Associates. "This camp incorporates hands-on experience to make learning fun. It teaches them about the ecological factors of an estuary system. At the same time, it makes them aware that they may affect ecosystems they aren't in direct contact with."

NOAA researchers will visit the camp and discuss Chesapeake wildlife, as well as give the campers an example of what they do on a daily basis. The campers will also take part in local restoration of the bay. Students will work on a current restoration project on the Anacostia River, and will take part in activities such as replanting native wetland grasses, removing invasive plants, and picking up trash.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA please visit

The Smithsonian Associates provides educational and cultural programs that highlight and complement the work of the Smithsonian through a wide variety of formats that range from lectures and courses on the National Mall to study tours around the world.

For more information on the Wild, Wild Watershed summer camp, please visit