There are nearly 1,800 local governments in the Bay watershed, including towns, cities, counties and townships.
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
Half of pet owners always pick up after their pet, but one-third of pet owners seldom or never do so. Pet waste contains bacteria that can harm human health and contaminate the water we use for drinking, swimming and fishing.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to more than 18 million people. Ten million of them live along or near the Bay’s shores. About 150,000 new people move into the Bay watershed each year.Learn more
Forests and trees help filter and protect the drinking water of 75% of watershed residents.Learn more
Approximately 51 billion gallons of water flow into the Bay each day from its freshwater tributaries.Learn more
During the winter, the Bay supports 87 species of waterbirds. Of these wintering waterbirds, 14 species rely on the Bay to serve as habitat for more than 10% of their continental populations.
The Chesapeake Bay was the first estuary in the nation to be targeted for restoration as an integrated watershed and ecosystem.Learn more
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 watershed has 150 major rivers and streams, but contains more than 100,000 smaller tributaries.
The Bay itself is about 200 miles long, stretching from Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Seventy to ninety percent of all striped bass, known locally as rockfish, were spawned in the Bay.Learn more
The deepest part of the Bay, located southeast of Annapolis near Bloody Point, is called “The Hole” and is 174 feet deep.
Collectively, the Chesapeake’s three largest rivers—the Susquehanna, Potomac and James Rivers—provide more than 80% of the fresh water to the Bay.
There are 6,282,718 acres of accessible green space within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
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
Major rivers emptying into the Bay include the James, York, Rappahannock, Potomac, Patuxent, Patapsco and Susquehanna from the west and the Pocomoke, Wicomico, Nanticoke, Choptank and Chester from the east.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed contains three distinct geologic regions: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont plateau and the Appalachian province.
The Bay supports more than 3,600 species of plants and animals, including 348 species of finfish, 173 species of shellfish, over 2,700 plant species and more than 16 species of underwater grasses.Learn more
More than 500,000 Canada geese winter in and near the Bay.Learn more
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.”
Forests cover 55% of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Between 1990 and 2005, the watershed lost an estimated 100 acres of forest land each day. While this rate fell in 2006 to an estimated 70 acres per day, this rate is still unsustainable.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
The Chesapeake region is home to at least 29 species of waterfowl.Learn more