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Estuaries are among the most productive environments on earth, creating more organic matter each year than similarly-sized forests and agricultural areas. Estuaries also provide diverse habitats for wildlife and aquatic life, protect our communities against flooding, reduce pollution to waterways, and support local economies through commercial and recreational activities.
Bay grasses are a critical part of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Without bay grasses, underwater creatures such as fish and blue crabs do not have the shelter they need to survive, and migratory waterfowl do not have enough food to eat.
Another important role of bay grasses is to hold bottom sediments in place. If bay grasses are gone, waves can stir up bottom sediments and make the water cloudy. This can affect bay grass beds growing in other areas because they need clear water to survive.