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about us

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our education services

The Port of Baltimore provides environmental education and outreach for learners of all ages throughout the state. Our education team provides in-classroom education, field trips, community outreach, and educational support at no cost to schools or the community.

our education services

classroom education programs

The Port of Baltimore environmental education team travels to classrooms throughout the state, leading lessons and serving as guest speakers. Schools can choose from a wide variety of lesson plan options when requesting that we come teach. The education teach can also bring adorable terrapin ambassadors to provide students with opportunities to learn about native wildlife up-close. Students in classes 3rd grade and older can handle the terrapins, providing additional opportunities for engagement and learning.


trips &

site tours

The Port provides field trips and site tours at it's restoration sites, including Masonville Cove, Hart-Miller Island, and the acclaimed Poplar Island environmental restoration site. Field trips and tours are free (transportation to the sites is not provided) and the education and informational content can be customized for the age and special interests of each group of visitors. Learn more about the group size limits and the special offerings for each site below ("Where We Work").

community outreach & public presentations

Our educators travel to provide outreach at colleges, community events, club meetings, conferences, and exhibits. We frequently serve as guest speakers at meetings and seminar series, offering presentations on topics related to dredging, the process of environmental restoration, and the positive impacts of restoration on Maryland's native wildlife. We also frequently provide exhibit tables, outreach, and activities at community events. Event organizers can select from a range of educational activities and games.




The Port funds the Port of Baltimore Terrapin Education and Research Partnership (TERP) Program, which places diamondback terrapin hatchlings in classrooms across Maryland. Through TERP, students learn about terrapin biology, are more engaged in science, and contribute important citizen science data to researchers at Ohio University. The terrapins they "head start" grow much larger than wild terrapins the same age, potentially increasing their chances of survival in the wild.

professional development workshops

Multiple members of the Port of Baltimore environmental education team are certified to teach Project WET, Project WILD, and Project Learning Tree, three nationally-recognized environmental education curricula that provide K-12 education about water conservation, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, and plant resources. We recently taught a successful workshop at the annual MAEOE conference, and will be offering additional scheduled workshops in future. Our educators can also offer these courses as in-service professional development opportunities for educators.

maeoe green school leadership

The Port of Baltimore can assist schools interested in becoming Green Schools in multiple ways. Several members of our education team are recognized MAEOE Green Leaders and can help schools navigate the Green School application process. We can also help schools lead high-quality environmental education lessons that will help them meet Green School requirements. In addition, the Port of Baltimore can assist schools by serving as a community partner, an organization which partners with Green Schools to help them achieve goals in sustainability.



we work

The Port of Baltimore provides on-site education at multiple environmental restoration sites and dredged material containment facilities. Our education team also travels to provide presentations and classroom education throughout the state.

where we work

poplar island


1140 acres of restored remote island habitat in the Chesapeake Bay

Home of the award-winning Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project

Tours include boat transportation and driving tours of the island for up to 24 people

hart-miller island


1140 acres of restored island habitat in the Patapsco River

Home to Hart-Miller Island State Park, which offers a sandy beach, camping, and five miles of trails

Tours include boat transportation and driving tours of the island for up to 20 people

Activity options include seining, field science, nature exploration, and more

masonville cove


52 acres of restored wildlife habitat

Home to the nation's first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership

Home to renowned trash interceptor Captain Trash Wheel

Tours include opportunities to visit the site education center, do a driving tour of the DMCF, and explore the restored outdoor areas

cox creek

marine terminal tours

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your event or classroom





Are you unable to visit one of our sites but still interested in learning about the Port and its environmental initiatives? Our educators travel throughout the state, leading lessons, serving as guest speakers, and presenting at exhibits.

We can participate in you community event, bring lessons to your classroom, provide presentations to your community group, and more.

We work with learners of all ages, and can bring our traveling terrapin ambassadors with us.

meet our team

11 acres of restored wetlands

Consistently named one of Maryland's top birding "hot spots"

Activity options include fish seining, outdoor field science, birding, nature exploration, and more

Cox Creek is temporarily closed to visitors while the site is under construction-- it will reopen with increased visitor features, including new trails and education opportunities

Driving tours of the terminal space at one of the nation's most prominent ports

Tours include opportunities to learn about shipping and transportation logistics, careers, and more


meet the

education team

The environmental education team has more than 25 years of combined experience providing classroom and environmental education about Maryland's ecology and wildlife. We're passionate, creative, committed, and always excited to work with new schools, students, and communities.


laura baker


Laura has worked for MES since 2010, and has overseen the tremendous growth of the education team and the TERP Program. She has experience in both formal classroom education and as an environmental educator, and is a MAEOE certified environmental educator. Laura is a MAEOE "Green Leader" and is passionate about helping schools become recognized Green Schools.


katrina jones


Katrina Jones is the outreach coordinator for the Maryland Port Administration's dredging program where she works to build diverse stakeholder engagement and maintain partnerships for enhancing the public's knowledge and support of the State of Maryland's dredged material management program. Katrina also co-chairs the Baltimore Port Alliance's Education and Outreach Committee. She is a graduate of Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Communications.


mary chiarella


Mary has worked for MES since 2017. She is the TERP Program coordinator and an experienced environmental educator with more than five years of work teaching on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She is currently working toward a M.S. in Ecological Restoration from the University of Florida. Mary has a special interest in providing valuable outdoor education experiences for students, and in developing creative new education content.


kristina motley


Kristina has worked for MES since 2018. She is one of the Poplar Island tour coordinators and facilitates onsite tours and education at Poplar Island. Kristina has a background in informal science and environmental education, and is currently working on a graduate program in GIS (geographic information systems) from Pennsylvania State University. Kristina has a special interest in birding, wildlife photography, creating meaningful learning exhibits for Poplar visitors, and developing new education content.






Caitlin has worked for MES since 2018. She has a bachelors degree in environmental studies and graphic design from McDaniel College, and is working on a M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University. Caitlin has a special interest in outdoor field studies and GIS. She has taken additional courses in fish ID, and enjoys leading outdoor activities with kids including seining and water quality assessments.


ryland taylor


Ryland has worked for MES since 2018. Along with Kristina, she coordinates tour scheduling for Poplar Island and facilitates onsite tours and education. Ryland has a M.S. in Biology from Kansas State University where she wrote her thesis on Striped Bass (aka Rockfish. She has substantial research and field experience in addition to her experience in outdoor and environmental education. Ryland has a special interest in fish, wildlife photography, and bird puns.

about our orgs.

about our


MES provides education and outreach

on behalf of the Port of Baltimore. Our educators provide lessons about the Port's history, significance, and environmental initiatives throughout Maryland.

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Established in 1970, MES is the 25th largest business by revenue in the Baltimore area, operating over 1,000 environmental projects and services across Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. It employs over 850 teammates. A not-for-profit business unit of the state of Maryland, MES enhances and protects the environment through innovative solutions to the region’s most complex environmental challenges. MES combines public sector commitment with private sector flexibility and responsiveness. MES receives no direct operations funding from the state and does not have regulatory authority.

MES' environmental services include major projects in recycling, solid waste management, stormwater, water, and waste water treatment, GIS, and dredging and restoration. The dredging and restoration department works with the Port of Baltimore to provide restoration and conservation services as well as day-to-day management at major restoration sites in Maryland. Outreach and education are another major part of MES' work in dredging and restoration, and help to build community support and engagement for the many meaningful restoration projects the Port and MES work on.

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The Port of Baltimore has been a major economic force in Maryland for over three hundred years. Founded in 1706, the Port offers easy access to the Chesapeake Bay via the Patapsco River.

Today, business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs and over 127,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to Port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary, and it generates $310 million in state and local tax revenue. About 2,000 cargo vessels and cruise ships call on the Port of Baltimore annually, making it one of the nation's busiest ports.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) works to ensure that vessels traveling to and from Baltimore have safe, navigable channels. MDOT MPA is also committed to environmental stewardship. The sediment dredged from these channels is playing an important part in restoring valuable habitat in the Chesapeake Bay, and MDOT MPA promotes environmental literacy through outreach and education efforts across Maryland.

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