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All Aboard The Learning Barge!





up for Summer Camp NOW!

Ages 7-12 | July 7-11 | July 14-18 | July 21-25

$240 – 1 week tuition 9-4, M-F

            ($10 discount for returning campers)

$265 – Includes extended care 8-5, M-F

$220 – Elizabeth River Project members

$255 – Become an Elizabeth River Project member today

Explore YOUR home river aboard America’s greenest vessel, the Learning Barge and at Nauticus! Become a river steward, make friends and create memories that will last a lifetime. Discover the Elizabeth River is alive, teeming with fish, crabs and oysters as well as a rich history.Plus enjoy an exciting field trip to Paradise Creek Nature Park!


For information: | 757-392-7132

Summer Camp Application

Barge Bulletin

"After hosting over 3,500 visitors at Harborfest, the Learning Barge is now at its summer location at Nauticus Maritime Center.  


We owe a huge THANK YOU to our sponsors at Portfolio Recovery- who volunteered their time and made our visit possible. Also, a big thanks to Magann Corporation and the tug MARY HOPE 2, for moving the barge.  


We're looking forward to our final few field trips this season, and our upcoming summer camps.


See you on the River!"


The Elizabeth River Project

made possible by


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 swimmable and fishable by 2020. 




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 to help teach how to help make the Elizabeth River swimmable and fishable

by 2020.

37,476 have been educated on the barge since its 2009 launch. 
Over 20,000 were K-12 students.


Here's what teachers and students from Old Donation Center in Virginia Beach had to say about their field trips in spring 2012:

"This was the best fieldtrip I have ever been on and I have been teaching for 30 years!"

"Pure heaven out on the river, in the heart of Norfolk"

"The staff was the most professional and most informed than on any fieldtrip that we have ever been on"

"The students were talking the whole way back to school.. . not the usual chit chat, but instead about how they can conserve resources to save the river."


"Our students had a wonderful time on the Learning Barge and we teachers consider it one of the best field trips available."


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 Field Trip Summary 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 757-392-7132.

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 American Honda Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, Captain Planet, NOAA B-Wet, Portsmouth General Hospital Foundation, Portfolio Recovery Associates, The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Advisory Committee and Kinder-Morgan. Our generous maritime community also donates countless services for maintenance and tug moves!


For more info | 757.392.7132 |

1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510

1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510

The Learning Barge is at Nauticus


"We loved it!  We've been told we can only have ONE field trip next year, and my grade level all said we want to come back to the Barge!"


Pamela Crichton

3rd Grade Teacher

Centerville Elementary

Field Trip Information Flier


Track the Learning Barge!

475 Water Street, Portsmouth VA  23704