Kicking Off the Chesapeake Youth Initiative

Youth looking toward the sun

What is the Chesapeake Youth Initiative?

In 2021, the NPS Chesapeake Bay Office hosted the inaugural year of the Chesapeake Youth Initiative in partnership with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and the CBP Education Workgroup. The Chesapeake Youth Initiative aims to celebrate youth-voice at the Chesapeake Bay Program while supporting youth leaders who are working to influence environmental change in their communities.

2022 Chesapeake Youth Initiative

This year, the Chesapeake Youth Initiative will be able to engage 10-15 high school students who will be nominated by Youth Leadership Programs throughout the Watershed. Youth ambassadors can expect to spend 2-4 hours/ week from July to early September.

What will the Youth Ambassadors do?

During the Youth Initiative Program students will learn about the issues currently affecting the communities of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the policies in place to restore and protect the Bay. They will develop an understanding of the complex issues facing the Chesapeake Bay watershed while building their network and leadership skills. Participants will attend a guest lecture series where they'll be able to learn from subject matter experts at the Chesapeake Bay Program. The Youth Ambassadors will be paired with a Chesapeake Bay Program staff member that guide them through the design and implementation of an action project. The Youth Initiative will culminate in a virtual summit where students will be able to share their experiences and action projects with Chesapeake Bay Program leadership. A tentative timeline can be seen below.

Tentative 2022 Youth Initiative timeline.

Call for Youth Leadership Programs

As this second year of the CBP Youth Leadership Initiative is kicking off, we are looking to recruit a diverse class of high school-aged youth that represent each of the jurisdictions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. To do this, we need help in identifying youth leadership programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. If you know of an existing Youth Leadership Program that should be considered please email it to Colleen Norton, Education Assistant, NPS Chesapeake ( by February 16th.

Please send us youth programs that meet the following criteria:

  • Youth leadership programs for young people interested in the environment and/ or sustainability
  • Programs that work within the Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Programs that engage high school aged students
  • Programs that are run outside of the school day

Please refrain from sending the following types of programs:

  • Youth employment programs
  • Youth conservation associations
  • School-based/ K-12 program