With a slogan like this, how could it not be fun? Thank you
for helping your students and community learn how to
Save the Crabs, Then Eat ‘Em!
This how-to guide will equip
you with the steps for conducting
an informational campaign.
Campaigns can be cost effective
and information-rich for your
students, school and community.
Throughout this campaign you
can make it your own, but the
following is a framework. Get
creative and enjoy!
The Save the Crabs, Then Eat ‘Em campaign is centered around
having individuals pledge to skip fertilizing their lawns in the
spring. The slogan was created by the Chesapeake Club to
connect a science-based concern to the stomachs of those who
enjoy the seafood harmed by our actions. It is a culinary approach
that creates questions and promotes action. Rather than asking
your community to stop fertilizing, you can ask them to save the
crabs so that they can enjoy a feast later!
SAVE THE CRABS
Did you know that, scientifically speaking, spring is the worst
time to use fertilizer for the river? Rather than plants utilizing all of
the fertilizer to grow, spring rains wash fertilizer into our local
waterways. This causes algae to grow in excessive levels. The algae
blooms eventually die, sink to the bottom of the waterway and decay,
pulling oxygen out of the water and creating a “dead zone”. The beloved
blue crabs, as well as delicious oysters and fish, need that oxygen to
survive. Unfortunately, this is a major problem in the Rappahannock
River, as it has the largest dead zone of all the rivers in the state of Virginia.
So, to help the River and the blue crabs, this informational
campaign asks participants to pledge to skip the fertilizer in the
spring and wait until the fall, if they fertilize at all.
To participate in Save the Crabs,
Then Eat ‘Em (STC), you will need
to have a pledge form for
participants to fill out and art
supplies for student posters. One of
the easiest to use is a Google
Form because it collects all of the
participant’s information in a spreadsheet. If you do not want to use
Google Forms you can make a paper form that asks for the same
information. This can be used at your school’s sporting events,
outreach events, or even at drop-off or pick-up. You can also partner
with Friends of the Rappahannock to receive STC bumper stickers
that you can give to everyone who pledges. These are great for
sparking curiosity about the campaign, and people love them!
The following supplies are needed
for the campaign:
• Pledge forms, paper or
electronic, such as a Google
• *Optional: Computer for Google
• Art Supplies
• Poster Board
• *Optional: bumper stickers from
Friends of the Rappahannock
The campaign should be started in the winter before community
members begin fertilizing their lawns for the spring. The first thing to set up is
the pledge form so that all information about the campaign can include where
people can pledge to skip the fertilizer. The form should include:
• Name • Mailing Address • City, State, Zip Code
• I pledge to not fertilize my lawn this spring. • Acreage not fertilized
• *Optional: How did you find out about the campaign?
Save the Crabs, Then Eat ‘Em
Pledge to SKIP the fertilizer this spring!
First and Last Name*
Mailing Address Google Form
City, State, Zip Code
I pledge to not fertilize my lawn this spring.*
Yes Printed Form
Acreage not fertilized this spring.*
Name Address SKIP the Acreage Email
Students can create public service
announcements, radio ads and
posters that explain the campaign
and what people can do to
participate. A letter can also go
home to families to explain what the
student will be participating in and
the importance of the campaign.
Once all of the information is
shared, pledges will begin to be
made and bumper stickers, if you
chose, can be be distributed either
in person or through the mail with a Local Radio Ads
thank you note.
MAKING IT REAL
The STC campaign ends in late spring.
When the campaign is over have students
look at the amount of nutrients, nitrogen and
phosphorus, they kept out of the waterways
through their campaign. This can be
calculated by using the equation:
14 X acreage = pounds
This is an important wrap-up step because
students can calculate what they achieved.
Campaigns can be difficult because students
are not always able to see the results of their
efforts, but by calculating the nutrient
reduction you are giving them a quantifiable
impact that they can be proud of!
If you are interested in hosting
the Save the Crabs, Then Eat
‘Em campaign or have questions
about the process or this how-to
guide, please contact:
Friends of the Rappahannock
Headquarters: 3219 Fall Hill Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Tidal: Post Office Box 1459
Tappahannock, VA 22560
email@example.com • riverfriends.org
NOAA Chesapeake Bay
and Training Grant