The State of Maryland has formally recognized three tribes: the Piscataway Indian Nation, Piscataway Conoy Tribe and the Accohannock Indian Tribe.Learn more
Forty-six percent of watershed residents never use toxic pesticides in or around their homes. You can evaluate a pesticide’s toxicity to judge the risk in using it, or make your own non-toxic pesticide with garlic, vinegar, cooking oil and other common household items.
Approximately 284,000 acres of tidal wetlands grow the Chesapeake Bay region. Wetlands provide critical habitat for fish, birds, crabs and many other species.Learn more
A watershed is an area of land that drains into a particular river, lake, bay or other body of water.Learn more
Nearly 80,000 acres of underwater grasses grow in the shallows of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Young and molting blue crabs rely on underwater grass beds for protection from predators.Learn more
Just like those on land, animals in the Chesapeake Bay need oxygen to survive. Oxygen is present underwater in dissolved form, and in order to thrive, animals like blue crabs need dissolved oxygen concentrations of three milligrams per liter.Learn more
Captain John Smith and his men sailed the Chesapeake Bay in a modest wooden boat called a shallop–an open wooden workboat such as a barge, dory, or rowboat that was small enough to row but also had one or two sails.
There were many different tribes in the region before Europeans arrived, but the dominant group were Algonquian speakers known collectively as the Powhatan tribes.
The 195-mile-long Rappahannock River is the longest free flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Mallows Bay is the final resting place for more than 200 historic shipwrecks dating back to the Revolutionary War. Commonly referred to as the “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay, it is the largest collection of shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere.
The Bay and its tidal tributaries have 11,684 miles of shoreline—more than the entire U.S. west coast.
More than 1,800 vessels have met their end in Bay waters, lying broken and battered on the Bay's floor.
The Chesapeake Bay is home to 26 different species of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV), including freshwater plants, estuarine plants, redhead grass, and marine species.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed has 150 major rivers and streams, but contains more than 100,000 smaller tributaries.
Water temperatures in the Bay fluctuate widely throughout the year, reaching as high as 84 degrees in summer.
The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary: a body of water where fresh and salt water mix. It is the largest of more than 100 estuaries in the United States and third largest in the world.Learn more
The Chesapeake Bay Program was organized in 1983 to help lead and direct restoration in the Chesapeake Bay.
Forests and trees help filter and protect the drinking water of 75% of watershed residents.Learn more
The Chesapeake Bay watershed contains three distinct geologic regions: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont plateau and the Appalachian province.
Sixty percent of Chesapeake forests have been divided into disconnected fragments by roads, homes and other gaps that are too wide or dangerous for wildlife to cross.Learn more
The surface area of the Bay and its tidal tributaries is approximately 4,480 square miles.
The Bay is surprisingly shallow. Its average depth, including all tidal tributaries, is about 21 feet. A person who is six feet tall could wade through more than 700,000 acres of the Bay and never get his or her hat wet.
Legislation proposed by Maryland’s Senator Chris Van Hollen and Representative John Sarbanes to incorporate the bay into the nation’s park system.
Nearly one million waterfowl winter on the Bay–approximately one-third of the Atlantic coast’s migratory population. The birds stop to feed and rest on the Bay during their annual migration along the Atlantic Migratory Bird Flyway.Learn more