Maryland Department of Natural Resources Bay Grasses in Classes
Bay Grasses in Classes
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An Interactive Program that Allows Students
to Participate in Restoring the Chesapeake Bay

The Bay Grasses in Classes program is a hands-on education project that gives students a direct role in Chesapeake Bay restoration. Teachers are given the equipment and materials required to grow bay grasses in their classrooms. DNR designed a number of educational activities to teach students about bay grasses. During the semester, students perform experiments to study bay grass growth. Experiment data are posted on the Bay Grasses in Classes website. At the end of the semester, students plant their bay grasses in select areas of the Chesapeake Bay. Students gain a sense of stewardship of the Bay by studying the biological importance of bay grasses and actively participating in restoration.

Photos from bay grasses in classes

Over 1,832 classes and 45,796 students participated in BGIC since it began in 1998. During this time students have planted over 3.25 acres of bottom surface in the Bay with the 500,000 plants grown in their classrooms. Surveys taken each year by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) continue to map healthy grass beds planted by students in the program.

Due to cuts in the grant funding that supported this project, Bay Grasses in Classes will not be available to teachers in Maryland. While are actively pursuing funding for the future, teachers and educators are welcome to use the education and curriculum materials from our website. There are activities that relate bay grasses to water quality, sediments, nutrients and fisheries and all are available for use by teachers and students. If you have any questions about the Bay Grasses in Classes program, please contact Mark Lewandowski at 410-260-8634 or

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