At Phillips Wharf Environmental Center we offer two hour, hands-on field trip programs that incorporate “next generation” science standards and are tailored for specific grade levels.


Extended programming or an art component may be added for an additional fee. Also, we highly recommend our one hour Skipjack cruise on the Chesapeake Bay, which is available by appointment. 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!

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