The GCBSR is part the broader community of schooners, sailors, and environmental organizations caring for and enjoying the Chesapeake Bay and waters beyond. We invite you to get involved!

One of the signature events of race festivities, shanty singing gives us a chance to reconnect to those sailors who made their way on the seas without the benefits of electricity or internal combustion engines. Back when all the power a sailor has was within their own two hands, shanties gave sailors a cadence to coordinate their efforts and a way to relax, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Recordings of all of these shanties can be found online by searching for “shanty” and the song title. Enjoy!

Environmental Organizations Supporting the Chesapeake Bay

Bayshore Center at Bivalve

The mission of the Bayshore Center at Bivalve is to motivate people to take care of the environment, the history and the culture of New Jersey’s Bayshore region through education, preservation and example. They operate the 1928 Delaware Bay Oyster Schooner A.J. Meerwald as a sailing classroom offering youth of all ages a unique hands-on learning experience. Designated New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship in 1998, the A.J. Meerwald is a living history, a microcosm for the planet and a great example of what a small group of committed individuals can accomplish. The organization also offers shore-based educational programming at their home port of Bivalve, New Jersey, in the recently restored 1904 Oyster Shipping Sheds and adjacent wetlands.

Blue Water Baltimore

Blue Water Baltimore uses community-based restoration, education and advocacy to achieve clean water in Baltimore’s rivers, streams and harbor, so that citizens of the Baltimore region will enjoy a vibrant natural environment, livable neighborhoods, and a healthy, thriving Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay. They work toward a future when our neighborhood streams are safe for fishing and swimming and our clean harbor is the pride of our city.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

For more than 40 years, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has worked to increase awareness of the tremendous problems facing the nation’s largest estuary. By educating the public about the many issues affecting the health of the Bay, they encourage a greater public commitment to protecting and restoring our rivers and streams. CBF’s environmental education programs for students and teachers, which put more than 40,000 citizens a year in touch with the Bay, are a cornerstone of their efforts to improve water quality. They also publish reports, post the latest news articles on their website, list Bay facts and other resources for further information, and share tips on what you can do in your own community.

Elizabeth River Project

The Elizabeth River Project is dedicated to restoring the Elizabeth River to the highest practical level of environmental quality through government, business and community partnerships. Their education programs include River Star Schools, Princess Elizabeth, youth presentations and adult education.

Living Classrooms

Living Classrooms uses our region’s unique maritime treasures as “living classrooms” to educate students and the public. Living Classrooms shipboard education programs serve thousands of students per year from throughout the region aboard the Foundation’s floating classrooms, including the schooner , Chesapeake buyboats Mildred Belle and Half Shell, and skipjacks Sigsbee and Minnie V. In partnership with the City of Baltimore and State of Maryland, Living Classrooms manages the Historic Ships in Baltimore, Friends of Fort McHenry and the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park.

Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education

Since 1985, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) has served thousands of teachers (and students at all grade levels), natural resource managers, nature center staff and environmental program managers with dynamic training programs, workshops, conferences, awards programs, networking opportunities, publications, and related materials and resources. Through these efforts, MAEOE has helped to encourage, educate, support and inspire Maryland educators to build a citizenry that understands and is responsibly engaged in advancing sustainability to address human needs and to conserve the Earth’s natural resources.

Virginia Office of Environmental Education

The Virginia Office of Environmental Education is Virginia’s clearinghouse for environmental education and information. Their mission is to work with public and private organizations to deliver quality environmental education programs that meet state academic standards and engage citizens in conservation activities.

Sailing Organizations and Opportunities

Schooner-Related Organizations

The American Schooner Association fosters, promotes and encourages the enjoyment, traditions, and preservation of schooners by supporting individuals and organizations that are in sympathy with their object, by maintaining a record of those vessels past and present, and by coordinating a program of racing and cruising.

The annual Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta & Yacht Race, held in early September, brings splendid sailing and magnificent vessels to Cape Cod.

The Gloucester Schooner Festival, held in early September, is the annual commemoration of the significance of the classic fishing schooner to the history of Gloucester, Massachusetts, the oldest fishing port on the East Coast. For three days, the City’s harbor hosts a unique mix of old and new, as modern day fishermen share their home port with the traditional vessels of an earlier era.

SpinSheet Magazine

SpinSheet, based in Annapolis, MD, is an independent monthly print magazine devoted to Chesapeake Bay Sailing.SpinSheet publishes the official program for the GCBSR each year in the October issue.

SpinSheet’s photo gallery:

Green Boating

The Clean Marina Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program promoted by NOAA and others that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures. A list of U.S. State Clean Marina Programs is available on this NOAA site. Boaters are encouraged to patronize certified Clean Marinas and to adopt clean boating habits.

The Maryland Clean Marina Initiative recognizes and promotes marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs of any size that meet legal requirements and voluntarily adopt pollution prevention practices. The program was developed as an alternative to additional regulations on the marina industry and all marinas and boatyards are encouraged to participate. The collective effort of individuals and businesses will improve the quality of Maryland’s waters from Deep Creek Lake, to the Chesapeake Bay, to the coastal bays!

The Virginia Clean Marina Program promotes the voluntary adoption of measures that prevent or reduce pollution from traditional and non-traditional marinas, boatyards and recreational boats. Anyone interested in the link between clean marinas and clean waters in VA should explore this site.

The Chesapeake Bay is in trouble. Polluted waters are threatening our crabs, fish and oysters. You can be part of the solution. Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Boaters for the Bay program and help protect this national treasure.

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to Being a Better Friend to the Bay“, Cindy Wallach, SpinSheet, June 2009, pp. 49-51. The sidebar to this articles contains a handy list of smart, cheap and green cleaning solutions.

What’s Muck Got to Do with It? Clean Marinas and You“, Kristen Berry, SpinSheet, March 2009, pp.51-55.

Boat Clubs

Learn to Sail

The Downtown Sailing Center, located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, is a non-profit outreach organization whose mission is to make the joy of sailing accessible to everyone, regardless of age, income, ability or disability. They offer free or affordable access to quality sailing programs and events without the cost of private ownership or boat maintenance.