Education Programs skipjack tourStudents 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.

Phillips Wharf offers two hour, hands-on field trip programs incorporating STEM and next generation science standards.

The programs are tailored for specific grade levels, from Pre-K through 12th grade.

Extended programming or the addition of an art component are also offered for an additional fee.

You can also click on these links for information on summer camps, our travelling Fishmobile aquarium, aquaculture education, and oyster restoration.

Please call 410-886-9200 to schedule.



Chesapeake Critter Encounters

Kindergarten-Grade 2

Meet the live animals and plants that inhabit the Chesapeake and discover what they need to live and grow. Compare how different creatures are structured to survive in different habitats and help students to understand their personal impact on their environment and other living things.

Oysters, Ships and Shuckers (Seasonal)

Grades 3-5

Explore a working waterfront oyster house. Observe oysters being shucked, examine their anatomy and investigate how oysters are adapted to their environment. Board a working Skipjack, raise the sails, and handle the tools of the oysterman’s trade.

It’s a Crab’s Life (Seasonal)

Grades 3-5

Take a journey learning about the life cycle and ecology of the blue crab. Students catch their own crabs to learn about skills and tools used by watermen, and test the water quality to reveal what conditions crabs require.

Dinosaurs of the Chesapeake

Grades 6-8

From trilobite to horseshoe crab, compare yesterday’s species to today’s living fossils. Investigate horseshoe crab age, molt, growth and sex; examine the ecological, economical and medicinal roles that horseshoe crabs play in the survival of other species; and analyze the human activities that have led to the long-term population decline of two dinosaurs of the Chesapeake – the horseshoe crab and the Atlantic sturgeon.

Sustainable Oysters: Seed to Table

Grades 9-12

The new technology of oyster aquaculture can have a deep economic and social impact on waterfront communities and the Chesapeake Bay. Explore a 21st century seafood industry that melds traditional harvesting methods with the latest scientific innovation in sustainable aquaculture, incorporating hands-on investigation of aquaculture techniques including algae culture, micro-culch setting, upwellers, cage culture, and sorting by size.

Programs at Your School

Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 3

The Phillips Wharf Fishmobile brings marine science and live Bay critters to your school! Our programs, customized for your class, include environmental issues impacting the Chesapeake Bay and its inhabitants. Touch diamondback terrapins, blue and horseshoe crabs! Observe a variety of fish and reptiles, alive, up close and personal!


Donations to Phillips Wharf Environmental Center help fund our education programs, among other initiatives. You can help support the children and adults served by our education programs by making a gift now.

For information on any of our programs or to sign up, please contact us at [email protected] or call 410-886-9200.

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