“The CHESPAX program has an important focus on connecting students to all things Chesapeake Bay, and adding CCA Maryland’s Living Reef Action Campaign to our work has been well worth the wait. We look forward to building habitat with CCA Maryland with a brand new group of 5th graders in the fall, and hope to continue this partnership well into the future.”
Tom Harten, leader of the CHESPAX program
With the return of warmer weather, CCA Maryland’s Living Reef Action Campaign (LRAC) hit its stride throughout the spring of 2022.
In late March, CCA Maryland and its partners kicked off a long-awaited effort to build reef balls with nearly 1,250 Calvert County fifth graders. Working through the CHESPAX environmental education program, CCA Maryland staff and volunteers guided students to build up to 20 reef balls at each of the county’s twelve public elementary schools. These reef balls will soon enhance habitat in the St. Mary’s River oyster sanctuary and be added to the “Old Rock” reef area just outside of the popular fishing port of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland.
Not to be outdone, Carroll County Public Schools continued their elementary school work led by county STEM coordinator Bryan Shumaker, building 56 reef balls with county 4th graders. Carroll County Career and Tech’s masonry instructor Mike Campanile supported the mobile program by coordinating the donation of materials by Lehigh Cement and local concrete supplier Thomas, Bennet & Hunter. Campanile also led efforts with high school students building reef balls as part of his classroom schedule and for extra credit. This year, Campanile’s team built more than 90 mini bay-sized reef balls that were recently deployed as fish habitat enhancement in Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park in the western part of the state.
To find out more about CCA’s growing habitat work in the Chesapeake region, visit CCAMD.org/habitat