The Learning Barge

Plan A Beautiful Day Of Learning On The Water

The Dominion Energy® Learning Barge is our amazing floating river laboratory and classroom. Since 2009, nearly 100,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade have hopped aboard to learn about everything from wetlands, wildlife restoration and sea-level rise to the iconic Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. Treat your students to a day on the Learning Barge, and they’ll know how to treat the river for life.

Everything you need to know about your trip to the learning barge

About the Barge​

  • The only vessel in the world with a LIVE tidal wetland on board
  • Six hands-on learning stations teach SOL-linked lessons on river ecology
  • Designed by the University of Virginia School of Architecture, winning more than a dozen national award

Over a decade of education and stewardship!

13 Years
on the Water
K-12 visitors
1 Great
Way to Learn
Thanks to all the generous donors who keep the Learning Barge rolling. Without your help, none of our learning programs would be possible. Do Something Beautiful. Support the Learning Barge today.

The Learning Barge on Wheels!​​

Our all-new Learning Barge on Wheels is the new sister ship to the Learning Barge. It delivers fun learning and river science activities right to your school parking lot, or even to a small group of kids in your neighborhood. 

Field Trips

Choose Your Experience(Required)
Preferred Season
Preferred Time
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Summer Mace

Assistant Director of Education
Summer received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with an emphasis on Marine Biology in 2017 from Old Dominion University. Starting as an educator on the Learning Barge, she quickly realized her passion for environmental education and the importance of providing meaningful and positive learning experiences for the next generation of river stewards. Going into her third year as Learning Barge Manager, she is ready to continue sharing her love of the Elizabeth with students of all ages aboard her favorite education vessel!

Kathryn Petersen

Senior Educator

Katie is a 2020 Old Dominion University Graduate who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a concentration in Marine Biology and a minor in Environmental Health Science. She has previous experience interning at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and working with organizations such as Keep Norfolk Beautiful. Katie is passionate about environmental education, and excited to teach young minds the importance of keeping the river healthy for generations to come!

Carolina Chocano

Seasonal Educator

Carolina graduated from Old Dominion University in 2020 and received her Bachelors in Communications with a minor in Biology. She previously worked for ODU as an Outdoor Adventure Program Trip Leader, and is now excited to work for the ERP as a Seasonal Educator teaching the youth about the importance of our river!

Sebastian Gunbeyi

Seasonal Educator

Sebastian is a rising senior at Columbia University pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science. He has previous experience volunteering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and participating in various climate change labs at school. Sebastian has a passion for sustainability and cannot wait to share that with students on the Learning Barge!

Sophie Solomon

Seasonal Educator

Sophie graduated from Old Dominion University in 2022 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a concentration in Marine Biology. She has previous experience working with the National Aquarium, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, and Marine Science Camps. She is excited to educate and build the passions of the younger generations in the area!