From its headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland, the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office manages the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, a partnership-based entity that connect people to experiences of the region’s natural and cultural heritage, and also helps conserve important landscapes. This office also coordinates watershed-wide efforts to achieve land conservation, public access, and environmental literacy, and stewardship goals established under Executive Order 13508 (Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed) and the Chesapeake Bay Program. It is a true 21st Century partnership park that brings together many stakeholders in caring for the largest estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

In a June 2019 survey of Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network partners, one of the needs most reported by respondents was help with fostering inclusive stewardship among diverse audiences. Culture is often a barrier when environmental educators don’t understand or represent the communities they wish to serve. There has been renewed focus on the history of African descended people in the origins of the United States with the 1619 anniversary and upcoming Semiquincentennial of 1776, especially within the Chesapeake. This is the perfect time to create educational programming that will both connect the story of African-descended people back to the Chesapeake Bay watershed and promote environmental stewardship within these communities. One particular area of focus is within Annapolis, MD.

The Assistant will produce the following deliverables:

  1. Research project on the history of African-descended people in the Chesapeake
  2. Exhibit on African American history in Annapolis at NPS visitor contact stations
  3. Interpretive media for NPS websites like
  4. Presentation to NPS interpretive staff and leadership

This project will serve as the basis for NPS and partnership programming and initiatives.