Restore Your Home River

Become a River Star




All Aboard The Learning Barge!



Sign up for Summer Camp NOW!


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 |

Summer Camp

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

BAE To Provide Winter Berth for Barge

The Learning Barge leaves Grandy Village Learning Center for winter maintenance donated by BAE shipyard after hosting 3,402 students there this fall.  With the assistance of Robbins Maritime, she made her way to her winter berth- where she’ll undergo another winter of TLC under the watchful eyes and capable hands BAE Systems- Norfolk Ship Repair....

Click here to read more.

Field Trip Information Flier


Track the Learning Barge!

 BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair

750 W. Berkley Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23523

700 Mayflower Rd. Norfolk VA

700 Mayflower Rd. Norfolk VA

The Learning Barge is tied up at 700 Mayflower Rd. Ready for RiverFest!

The Elizabeth River Project

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