ver past the year, I have become increasingly involved with the Chesapeake Bay
Foundation. As a member of CBF’s Student
Bay Advisory Council, environmental educa-tionis incredibly important to me. My
interaction with the foundation was
prompted by my leadership role in a com-munity-based environmentalist group for
students known as Project Green Teens.
Project Green Teens allows teenagers in
Virginia Beach to better the environment
through active participation in events such
as trash cleanups or oyster reef construction.
Previously I was the group’s Publicity Chair,
now I serve as the Public Relations Chair
alongside our President James Hemphill.
It was James who offered me the opportunity to attend a CBF student leadership trip
this past summer. Spending a week with
likeminded students on Virginia’s Eastern
Shore was a really great way for me to
become more a part of the Student Bay
Advisory Council. Two nights of my trip
were spent at the Karen Noonan Center in
Maryland. During this part of the experience, I had the opportunity to travel by
boat to Tangier Island, Virginia, as well as
go “mud-mucking” around the Karen
Noonan Center. The rest of my trip was
spent camping and enjoying my favorite
In September, I had the honor of meeting
Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring
after hearing him speak about sustainability
and its role in the government. In September,
I was invited to be part of an environmental
literacy event featuring Virginia’s First Lady.
The event with Mrs. McAuliffe was certainly
an incredible day. We were also lucky to have
had such beautiful weather.
I had the honor of introducing the First
Lady at the event, and after my remarks,
Mrs. McAuliffe delivered a great speech.
She touched on the importance of environ-
mental education, as well as the drastic
necessity that is the health of the
Chesapeake Bay. She spoke of Governor
McAuliffe’s accomplishment in signing the
Chesapeake Watershed Agreement with
five other states. Mrs. McAuliffe also
reminded the audience that the
Chesapeake Bay is an environmental and
economic asset to Virginia and the rest of
Also present at the event was a group of
students from Plaza Middle School. They
had just returned from a field experience
aboard CBF’s boat, Bea Hayman Clark.
During the trip, they participated in the
use of seine nets to get a closer look at the
organisms that inhabit the Lynnhaven
River. At the conclusion of the event, we,
along with other attendees, were able to see
some of the specimens collected and hear
about what the students were learning.
This Chesapeake Bay is among the natural
treasures that Virginia is so blessed to possess. Due to this, environmental education carries an extreme weight in our
community, and this event showed its
The author, Sarah Conley, meeting Virginia’s First Lady,
Sarah Conley, a Junior at First
Colonial High School in Virginia
Beach, is a member of CBF’s
Student Bay Advisory Council
and enjoys canoeing.
carries an extreme
weight in our community.
By Sarah Conley