(410) 417-8206

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation

6 Herndon Ave,
Annapolis, MD 21403
Great for Portraits & Events
and in our standard portraits service area.

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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis is a stunning location that combines modern architecture and natural beauty. The building is constructed to be environmentally friendly, and the location is surrounded by a serene waterfront preservation area.

The facility includes a beach and pier, although the pier access is restricted. Nevertheless, the scenery is breathtaking and provides an excellent backdrop for portraits or events. It is particularly well-suited for morning sessions, as the location is available from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, which means visitors must vacate before the best lighting is available in the afternoon.

For those interested in portrait sessions, permits to use the property are free but tightly controlled. This ensures that the natural beauty of the location remains intact for all who visit. However, the process is not arduous, and the permits are generally granted without issue.

The building itself is a sight to behold. It boasts a sleek, modern design that is complemented by its surroundings. The structure was built to be sustainable, and it has received several environmental awards and certifications. The building features many large windows and interesting steal facade which make it a beautiful backdrop for portraits.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Philip Merrill Environmental Center is situated in a perfect location, surrounded by the stunning Chesapeake Bay. This location provides an excellent opportunity for those interested in strolls along the beach or a picnic on the grounds, or just enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem before or after their sessions.

Location Limitations:

The Merrill Center property is limited and controlled for public access, and a permit pass is necessary due to limited parking. The property is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Visitors must check-in at the front desk to obtain an approved pass, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure availability, it is recommended that visitors call ahead. Ten passes per day are available for property use, and visitors must exchange a valid driver’s license for a pass, which must be returned by 5:00 p.m. Passes are per person, not per car, and visitors are only allowed to park in the upper parking lot located on the north side.

Visitors must follow several rules and guidelines, including keeping dogs on leashes and cleaning up after them. They should not disturb any CBF activities, events, or education field trips, and should not bring glass, alcohol, or swim in the area. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and visitors must carry out all trash. The dock is off-limits, and CBF reserves the right to close the property at any time due to scheduled events, education field trips in progress, or other CBF activities.

Groups with more than five members must obtain pre-approval from the CBF Conference Center Coordinator to use the property for an event and must follow the contract criteria for leasing the facility.

Photographers and visitors planning to use the location for portraits are respectfully asked to become members of the foundation by making a donation in an amount of their choosing. Please consider doing so.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation

6 Herndon Ave
Annapolis, MD 21403
(410) 268-8816

Portrait Permits & Costs

Permit Required:
Permit Cost:
Portraits Service Area:

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is in our standard portraits service area.


Event Bookings:
Best from:
April – November

Parking info:

Parking is available on-site. Visitors must park in the upper parking lot on the north side of the building.

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Captured at The Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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Heads up! You will be required to obtain a permit to hold a session at The Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Please contact the venue for help obtaining your permit.

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