The Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom Program will be transitioned to a maintenance only program for the foreseeable future.

The changes are:

  • This spring will be the final occurrences of the Field Day and Release Events.

  • Current participants may continue to pick up eggs each June.

  • Horseshoe crabs can either be kept for continued classroom use or returned to DNR.

  • The June 20, 2014 teacher training workshop will be the final training.

  • The 2014-2015 program will run as normal except for the elimination of the Field Day and Release Events.

Please contact Stacy Epperson at with any questions.

Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom

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Student working on the classroom project.The goals of the Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom Project are to:

  1. Teach students about the life history, anatomy and management of horseshoe crabs.
  2. Provide students with experience using scientific skills and processes to raise horseshoe crabs.
  3. Give students a meaningful outdoor experience on the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays of Maryland.
  4. Enable students to understand the ecological connection between horseshoe crabs and shorebirds.
  5. Provide teachers with an opportunity to use horseshoe crabs as a tool to explore different natural resource management issues.

Project History

In 1998, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) started the Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom Project. DNR's Environmental Stewardship Division and Fisheries Service developed and implemented the project to educate students about horseshoe crabs and the management of this important species. An Aquatic Resource Education Grant provided funding to purchase classroom equipment for the project.

During the first year, 24 schools signed up to participate in the project. The project culminated in a DNR-sponsored Horseshoe Crab Field Day at Flag Pond Nature Park in Calvert County. Students participated in outdoor activities to learn more about the issues surrounding horseshoe crabs.

Beginning in 2002, DNR reorganized the project based on lessons learned from teacher feedback. Each year, a teacher workshop is held for registered schools to give them the most up-to-date information on how to successfully raise horseshoe crabs in the classroom and provide their students with an exciting educational experience.

For program specific information click here.