The Learning Barge

Plan A Beautiful Day Of Learning On The Water

The Elizabeth River Project's 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! Contact us at 757-418-1042

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 awards.

Over a decade of education and stewardship!

13 Years
on the Water
K-12 visitors
1 Great
Way to Learn

Shop Exclusive Apparel

Get your hands on exclusive Learning Barge apparel now available at our new Merch Store! Show your support for education and environmental conservation with our stylish and comfortable designs.

Thanks to all the generous donors who keep the Learning Barge afloat.
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

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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 fifth year on the Learning Barge, she is ready to continue sharing her love of the Elizabeth with students of all ages aboard her favorite education vessel!

Shannon Yerabek

Senior Educator

Shannon graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Science with a concentration in Environmental Studies. She has previous environmental education experience and is passionate about sharing environmental stewardship actions with the Learning Barge students!


Kim Mitchell-James

Seasonal Educator

Ms. Mitchell-James earned her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science from Southern New Hampshire University and a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Mitchell-James has traveled across the world. She earned a degree from the Institute of Culinary Education and worked for years as a chef before serving as a Biomedical Technician in the Air Force where she discovered her passion for the environment. 


Caroline Mowery

Seasonal Educator

Caroline is currently in college working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science. Educating children and having positive interactions is what puts a smile on her face. Helping people learn about their local ecosystems, and how they can keep the river healthy is her passion!


Kara Gill

Seasonal educator

Kara earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife, with a minor in Animal Sciences from Oregon State University. Kara is also a permitted wildlife rehabber with the state of Virginia, and spends most of her free time handling various types of wildlife. Kara has a passion for education and conservation and is excited to join the Learning Barge as an educator this spring.


Zara Macaulay

Seasonal Educator

Zara is a TCC transfer student heading to Old Dominion University in the fall to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science. Zara also loves filmmaking, gardening, and traveling, and is excited to be a part of the Learning Barge Crew!


Emma Hickey

Seasonal Educator

Emma is pursuing a degree in Environmental Thought and Practice at the University of Virginia. Having grown up a few hundred yards from the Elizabeth River, Emma is passionate about caring for our waterways and educating others about protecting and preserving the environment. 

Youth Water Monitoring Results

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