Science Matters →

Science Matters Features: "Backyard Bay Savers in the City"

Rick in front of a river

Home Learning | Science Matters Features

Episode 4: Nature inside a city may look a little different than it does outside of the city, but all of it is vitally important because it is all connected! Join Chesapeake Bay Foundation educators Maya, Rick, and Norah, along with a few of their friends to learn how cities are connected to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Follow along as they use the City BaySaver Scavenger Hunt to look for nature in our cities. Learn ways you can help out and become a Backyard Bay Saver! 

Produced by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in partnership with VPM

Download the City BaySaver Scavenger Hunt.

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay. With offices in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia and 15 field centers, CBF serves as a watchdog for the Chesapeake Bay's six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to more than 18 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals. CBF fights for effective, science-based solutions to the issues the watershed faces to ensure clean water for all its residents.

To save the Chesapeake Bay, CBF believes it is essential to educate people from across the watershed to be Bay champions. From those living on rural farms to bustling cities, CBF works to ensure all people make a meaningful connection to their local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. CBF aims to inspire stewardship and a lifelong love for local rivers, streams, and everything that calls the watershed home. If you’re looking for ways you can stand up for the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams in your daily life, check out these Things You Can Do to Save the Bay.

For more information:

Virginia Standards of Learning:
4.1/5.1/6.1
- The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific and engineering practices by:
a) asking questions and defining problems
b) planning and carrying out investigations
c) interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating data
d) constructing and critiquing conclusions and explanations
e) developing and using models
f) obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

4.3 The student will investigate and understand that organisms, including humans, interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem. Key ideas include:
a) interrelationships exist in populations, communities, and ecosystems

4.4 The student will investigate and understand that weather conditions and phenomena affect ecosystems and can be predicted. Key ideas include:
b) common and extreme weather events affect ecosystems

6.8 The student will investigate and understand that land and water have roles in watershed systems. Key ideas include:
c) natural processes, human activities, and biotic and abiotic factors influence the health of a watershed system

6.9 The student will investigate and understand that humans impact the environment and individuals can influence public policy decisions related to energy and the environment. Key ideas include:
c) major health and safety issues are associated with air and water quality
e) preventive measures can protect land-use and reduce environmental hazards

Life Science LS.5 The student will investigate and understand that biotic and abiotic factors affect an ecosystem.

Earth Science ES.8 The student will investigate and understand that freshwater resources influence and are influenced by geologic processes and human activity. Key ideas include:
c) weather and human usage affect freshwater resources, including water locations, quality, and supply
d) stream processes and dynamics affect the major watershed systems in Virginia, including the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Meet the Creators:

fletcherKenny Fletcher lives near the James River in Richmond, but grew up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. He is CBF's Virginia Communications Coordinator, where he travels the region searching for the best stories in the watershed. In his free time Kenny loves fishing, exploring rivers and creeks by canoe, and hiking with his family.


carlosNorah Carlos is the Education Engagement Manager at CBF.  Norah has been an environmental educator at various CBF programs and now works on the professional learning team.  Most recently, she develops and leads Chesapeake Classrooms professional development courses for teachers and administrators focused on environmental literacy initiatives across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  


mayaMaya Alexander has always been captivated with the natural world. Maya is passionate about bringing diversity and inclusivity to the environmental field by encouraging others from various backgrounds and ages to build relationships with the outdoors. She currently works as CBF’s Potomac River Program Manager / Educator, where she provides meaningful watershed educational experiences to connect students to the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding watershed.


rickRick Mittler lives in Richmond, VA and studied Geography and Natural Resources Management at Virginia Tech, Go Hokies! He has been working in environmental education for the past seven years. As an avid disc golfer and aspiring landscaper, Rick does everything he can to get outside and share the outdoors with others. Currently, Rick works as CBF’s Virginia Student Leadership Coordinator.


davisKathlean Davis received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Mary Washington. Shortly after Kathlean traveled abroad to teach, paint, and explore new ecosystems. As an environmental educator she combines her love of teaching and the natural world. Kathlean’s new mission is to integrate science and art curricula across the watershed through teacher trainings and workshops as an educator with CBF’s Elisabeth Reed Carter Environmental Education Program.


Aj MetcalfAJ Metcalf lives in Annapolis where he works as the Maryland Communications Coordinator for CBF. He’s an avid boater and kayaker who enjoys exploring the creeks and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. At CBF, he helps Maryland staff promote their work planting trees, restoring oysters, and advocating for clean water