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Longest river fully within Maryland

The 110-mile-long Patuxent River is the longest river to flow exclusively within the borders of Maryland.

What is brackish water?

Most of the water in the Bay, including in the middle portion of the Bay and its tidal rivers, is brackish–a mixture of salty and fresh, with a salinity level of greater than 0.5 ppt but less than 25 ppt.

Meaning of "Chesepiooc"

The word Chesepiooc is an Algonquian word referring to a village "at a big river." In 2005, Algonquian historian Blair Rudes helped dispel the widely-held belief that the name meant “great shellfish bay.”

The Bay's largest tributary

The Susquehanna River is the Bay’s largest tributary, and contributes about half of the Bay’s freshwater (about 19 million gallons per minute).

More than 200 historic shipwrecks

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.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains into a particular river, lake, bay or other body of water.

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29 species of waterfowl

The Chesapeake region is home to at least 29 species of waterfowl.

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6,282,718 acres of greenspace

There are 6,282,718 acres of accessible green space within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

80,000 acres of underwater grasses

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.

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200 miles long

The Bay itself is about 200 miles long, stretching from Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

1,800 sunken vessels

More than 1,800 vessels have met their end in Bay waters, lying broken and battered on the Bay's floor.

Longest free flowing river in the Bay watershed

The 195-mile-long Rappahannock River is the longest free flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Three geologic regions

The Chesapeake Bay watershed contains three distinct geologic regions: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont plateau and the Appalachian province.

Formally recognized tribes in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia has formally recognized 11 tribes. Among them, the Pamunkey tribe was the first Virginia tribe to be recognized by the federal government.

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Saltiest part of the Bay

Salinity is highest at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, where water from the Atlantic Ocean enters.

Filtering drinking water

Forests and trees help filter and protect the drinking water of 75% of watershed residents.

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284,000 acres of tidal wetlands

Approximately 284,000 acres of tidal wetlands grow the Chesapeake Bay region. Wetlands provide critical habitat for fish, birds, crabs and many other species.

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Reducing runoff

Fourteen percent of watershed residents use rain barrels to collect rainwater from their downspouts and keep runoff out of rivers and streams. While water collected in rain barrels is not safe to drink, it can be used to water plants or wash cars.

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What is a shallop?

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.

200 invasive species

There are as many as 200 invasive species present in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that are causing some serious issues in an already-stressed ecosystem. Some examples include blue catfish, snakehead, zebra mussel, purple loosestrife, and nutria.

4,863 feet above sea level

At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is the highest point in the Chesapeake watershed.

Bald eagle recovery in the Chesapeake

In the 1970’s, there were as few as 60 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the entire Bay region. Today, as much as 3,000 breeding pairs of bald eagles can be found.

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Nearly 50 thousand miles of rivers, streams and creeks in one watershed

The Susquehanna River watershed includes nearly 50 thousand miles of rivers, streams and creeks.

11,684 miles of shoreline

The Bay and its tidal tributaries have 11,684 miles of shoreline—more than the entire U.S. west coast.