Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem

If you’re a teacher who is passionate about providing relevant and real watershed education into your classroom, the Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem is for you!

The Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem is a three-year professional development initiative that will increase the development and implementation of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) throughout the New York portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. MWEEs are learner-centered experiences in which students investigate local environmental issues and complete informed action projects. MWEEs advance environmental literacy and stewardship while increasing standards-based student achievement.

Join OCCA this summer for a multi-day institute where you will:

  • Develop a full understanding of the structure of a MWEE
  • Participate in exciting hands-on activities for classroom and field
  • Examine your current activities and lessons to see how they can fit into a MWEE
  • Network with fellow teachers and environmental education professionals


View this video for a short overview of a MWEE.

OCCA has been holding informational webinars on the program and MWEEs. 

If you have additional questions, email us at

Summer Institute

Our institute will be a unique combination of online and in-person learning, designed around the basic framework of a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE).  With that framework in mind, we will begin with a full day of remote learning on July 22 to introduce the basic concepts we will delve into more deeply throughout the remainder of the institute.  The following week (July 26-29) OCCA staff will travel to different regions of the watershed for a day of small group, hands-on field experiences. The final week of the institute (Aug. 2-4) will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous remote learning. By the end of the institute you will have a working knowledge of MWEEs and will be well on your way to implementing a MWEE with your students. Participants will also be connected to the New York Watershed Education Network. NYWEN includes environmental organizations, cultural institutions, government agencies and others from across the watershed who can help provide you additional resources, local expertise, programs to supplement your MWEE, field sites and more.

Apply today! The institute is free, but we ask you fill out this applicationOur deadline is May 15, 2021.

Not ready to apply, but interested in the program? Sign up for our CBHEE mailing list (takes you to a new page) and we’ll keep you updated.

Thank you to the Catskill Regional Teacher Center for their support of this project and for providing CTLE credits for the institute. 

Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem is provided through a cooperative agreement with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program.

How You Can Help Protect Our Local Environment

Donations provide the foundation for our work throughout Otsego County. By becoming a supporter of OCCA, you become a part of a unique countywide environmental organization whose mission is to protect local natural resources for the benefit of all. 


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