Today few American children and adults have the opportunity to be on the water and experience firsthand the crucial balance between industrialized human activity and a natural estuarine environment. The Learning Barge will address this deficit as it traverses the highly polluted and urbanized Elizabeth River. The educational spaces and interactive exhibits will provide meaningful, hands-on education about the tidal estuary ecology, restoration and remediation technologies, human impact on this ecosystem, sustainable practices and the importance of environmental stewardship.

The Learning Barge serves residents of the Elizabeth River watershed and Hampton Roads population of 1.6 million. Over 19,000 formal and informal learners are anticipated each year, including K-12 students and teachers, diverse community groups, families, children, adults and elders of all backgrounds.