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All In the Watershed

What is a Watershed?

Stories Overview



Which watershed is your ecological home?

This one is ours.

Muddy Creek: Rhode RIver: Chesapeake Bay: Atlantic Ocean

This photo shows land that is part of the Muddy Creek watershed that eventually flows into the Rhode River, which is connected to the Chesapeake Bay, which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean.


It's All in the Watershed uses a multi-media interdisciplinary approach to engage students in exploring their local watershed and sharing it with others. It is an opportunity for teachers to turn a one-day field trip into a cross-curriculum, multi-week learning process related to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

SERC has received support from the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies (SCEMS) through an Education Innovation grant and is now collaborating with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to create a interdisciplinary curriculum on the "BioPhysical Explorations" apporach to learning about watersheds. (More on that in the near future)

Features of the

It's All in the Watershed Program

The main concept of It's All in the Watershed (IAW) is transforming a one-day field trip experience into a continuous learning process. This is a new approach to environmental education. It's All in the Watershed uses the impact of the educational field trip to enhance learning throughout the year. Other specific innovative components of the program are:

  1. My Watershed, My Home shows the role students play in the education program by sharing information about their watershed.
  2. The Ask a Scientist section on the IAW website.
  3. The distance learning opportunities for schools.

SERC sees the IAW Program as the possible beginning of implementing a new approach to environmental education. Not only can this type of program serve as a model for other organizations to create a similar program for their watershed, such as the Great Lakes watershed or Mississippi River watershed, it will also serve as a model for SERC and other Smithsonian units for developing programs that transform short term field trips into broader, cross-curriculum learning experiences that stimulate students' sharing of what they have learned.

This is the first phase of the IAW website

This section of It's All in the Watershed tells stories about all kinds of aspects of life in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This 64,000-square-mile watershed is home to more than 15 million people and millions of plants and animals, so there are a lot of stories that can be told.

No matter where you are, you are sitting, standing, or walking in a watershed. This can be the watershed of a stream, a lake, a groundwater aquifer, an estuary, or another body of water. A watershed, however, is more than just an area of land that drains into a particular body of water. A watershed is also the ecological home of people, plants and animals. And that's what this website is about.


Web of Life: Animals and plants, as well as people and organizations are part of any watershed. Places & Geology: Learn more about geology and special places in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. History: From the Native Americans to the all happened in the watershed.
Scientific research: Understanding the way the watershed works. Watershed Worries: What's wrong? Not all is well in the watershed. Learn about ways the ecosystem is out of balance. What You Can Do: It's your watershed too! Explore these stories to learn how you can help make a difference.


Web of Life Places & Geology History Scientific Research Watershed Worries What You Can Do