Supporting Science Education through Phillips Wharf

November, 2019

Dear Friend,

St. Michaels High School Environmental Science and Aquatic Science teacher Gia Ristvey knows a thing or two about engaging high school students in the sciences, and she’s grateful for the donors supporting Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, because they help ensure her students have the field experiences needed to connect them to the Chesapeake Bay—its ecosystem, culture, and traditions—in meaningful ways.

“Phillips Wharf helps open students minds to their local connections to the Chesapeake Bay’s seafood industry,” continued Ms. Ristvey. “Through our community partnership with Phillips Wharf, I feel like we’re doing our part of preserving history and sustainability for the oyster industry, using insight from generations before to explain how the water and the industry has changed over the years. Ultimately, this also means greater career choices for our students.

waterman“Many of my students come from watermen families and want to continue working the water,” commented Ms. Ristvey. “Phillips Wharf’s programs give my high school students the real life experiences needed to help them see what sciences are involved in working the water, for example, and what industries are growing as part of working the water. Many have moved on in careers explored at Phillips Wharf, with every student learning about the health of the Bay, and the environmental impacts effecting our future around the nation’s largest estuary.”

Now, Phillips Wharf needs your help.

PWEC_OysterJam2_OysterHouseNow, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center needs your help to continue providing experiences like these. As a private, non-profit organization, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center relies entirely on donations and program-related grants to fund our educational programs, maintain the Fishmobile, sponsor lectures, and support our operations and activities.

Through donor support, Phillips Wharf is able to offer year-round programs and events, with initiatives including hands-on educational programs for Pre-K through 12th grade students; a Fishmobile, which travels to regional schools and events as Phillips Wharf’s marine science outreach program; an annual adult educational lecture series; special events; and a shellfish aquaculture training program.

People who care about the Chesapeake Bay and the quality of field experiences for today’s students support Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. Donors who give to Phillips Wharf feel rewarded in supporting such a high quality environmental educational experience for children and adults from throughout the region. Without them, we can’t provide the enriching experiences our STEM education, aquaculture, and outreach programs provide.

Students experiencing the Chesapeake Bay through Phillips Wharf Environmental Center's educational programs come away with a deeper, hands-on understanding of Chesapeake Bay history, seafood and watermen history, estuarine and environmental sciences, aquaculture, and more.

Your help will go a long way in supporting the children and adults served by Phillips Wharf. Thank you, for making your online gift using this link now.

With warmest regards,

Kelley Cox
Executive Director
Phillips Wharf Environmental Center

Dear Phillips Wharf Environmental Center Supporter,

I want to share with you how Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is pivoting towards new horizons that strengthen our longevity into the future and make our educational programs much more accessible to diverse audiences.

In Phillips Wharf’s 14-year history – two challenges have remained constant—the rising costs of maintaining a waterfront campus and old buildings, and addressing the inaccessibility of Tilghman Island to many school systems and others unable to afford the cost or the time for the long trip from more urban areas like Easton.

With this in mind, Phillips Wharf’s Board of Directors have made a bold decision to ensure the sustainability of our future and educational programs by liquidating our assets on Tilghman Island—including the real estate and property—and re-focus the expected gains from the sale to re-open a location in Easton that the Board will determine.

Be assured—Phillips Wharf will always bring our students to meaningful interactions with the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem and inhabitants. We know technology and our FishMobile, for example, can bring experiences and education to more students when we can focus our operations more on education, and less on maintaining an underutilized campus with mounting deferred maintenance costs and more.

Phillips Wharf will continue to carry the essence of encouraging, educating, and engaging Chesapeake Bay stewards from a new location soon. In addition, we’ll be sure to share this exciting news when it comes to fruition with you.

In the meantime, thank you for caring about our students and the Chesapeake Bay as a natural resource and source of healthy seafood and productive jobs for the Shore’s residents. We are excited to bring the Chesapeake Bay closer to our students and the public in ways that are more meaningful. This is a bold step forward not only in Phillips Wharf’s survivability, but also in our thrivability.

Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have. You can reach me at [email protected] or 410-886-9200.

Warmest regards,


Matthew Albers

Board President, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center