Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School Teachers, Sara Chaves Beam and Bethany Smith have won the Governor’s Conservation Classroom Challenge issued last year by Governor Terry McAuliffe. The Conservation Classroom Challenge goal is to engage students in activities of environmental stewardship and conservation of Virginia’s natural heritage and also to develop environmental literacy. At the Glenns Campus of CBGS, Mrs. Beam’s students have developed and constructed a living shoreline and a restoration oyster reef in Jamison Cove at the Urbanna Town Marina. Students helped in the planning and execution of these restoration projects and are now monitoring the success of the ecosystem enhancements. Success can be measured as reduced erosion of the bank at the site of the living shoreline and the growth of salt marsh grasses such that it functions as part of the native ecosystem. The restored oyster reef has oyster seed growing on the surface and serves as habitat and refuge for other organisms in the creek. The oysters also remove excess phytoplankton and sediments as they filter the water. Students gained a firsthand experience in ecosystem restoration, learning about the importance of oyster reefs and salt marshes to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. They will continue to monitor the site to assess the long-term establishment and success of their efforts as part of their Marine and Environmental Science classes at CBGS.
Caption: Students and teachers from the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School- Glenns Campus regularly monitor oyster growth, water quality and living shoreline development in Jamison Cove at the Urbanna Town Marina. Students attending the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School Glenns Campus come from Middlesex, Mathews, Gloucester, King and Queen and New Kent County Public Schools.