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The Learning Barge



All Aboard the Learning Barge

The Elizabeth River Project's Dominion Virginia Power LEARNING BARGE is the world's first floating wetland classroom and America's Greenest Vessel. It's a "steward ship," teaching the children of the river environmental stewardship actions and showing how to make the Elizabeth River healthier! 

Powered by sun and wind and equipped with live wetlands, an enclosed classroom, composting toilets and a rainwater filtration system, the 120 by 32 foot Learning Barge is designed to both model and teach ecology and sustainability to the next generation of lower Chesapeake Bay stewards. The mission is making restoration of the Elizabeth River a reality.

64,296 have been educated on the barge since its 2009 launch. Around 42,000 were K-12 students.

The barge will be docked at various locations including near the port highlighting the working river. Check out the map for the barge's latest location and download 2016-2017 Field Trip Program for the barge's docking schedule.

The best way to schedule a field trip is to download and fill out the Field Trip Request form and email to Robin Dunbar, Education Director, at If you prefer, you can also call 

The Learning Barge came to being thanks to the generous sponsorship of numerous organizations and individuals. Special thanks go to Dominion Virginia Power, the lead sponsor of the vessel's construction, and Lowe's, sponsor of the enclosed river lab onboard.

Current leading sponsors of our field trips include Dominion Virginia Power, Batten Educational Acheivement Fund of Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Enviromental Literacy Grant from National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Additional sponsors include Bank of America, Colonna's Shipyard, Dollar Tree Foundation, Kiwanis of Norfolk, Landmark Foundation,  Luck Companies Foundation, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach Public Schools, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Norfolk Southern Foundation, Virginia Natural Gas, and Wells Fargo. Our generous maritime community also donates countless services for maintenance and tug moves!

Special thank you to the public and private schools and youth organizations that continue to support the Learning Barge.

For more info | 757.392.7132 |

Keep these efforts growing. Become a member today!



Downloads for Learning Barge Field Trips

2016-2017 Field Trip Program
Field Trip Request Form
Field Trip Check List
Green Barge
Green Lunch Tips
Chaperone Tips
Parent Letter

More Teacher Resources




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The Elizabeth River Project
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The Learning Barge - America's Greenest Vessel

475 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704