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.Learn more
The Chesapeake Bay watershed stretches approximately 524 miles from Cooperstown, New York, to Norfolk, Virginia. It includes parts of six states—Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia—and the entire District of Columbia.
While one-third of watershed residents have volunteered their time or donated their money to a charitable organization, less than two in ten volunteers have done so for an environmental organization.
The 110-mile-long Patuxent River is the longest river to flow exclusively within the borders of Maryland.
The surface area of the Bay and its tidal tributaries is approximately 4,480 square miles.
A few deep troughs run along much of the Bay’s length and are believed to be remnants of the ancient Susquehanna River.
The area of the watershed is about 64,000 square miles.
The formation of the Chesapeake Bay happened 35.5 million years ago when a meteor collided with Earth, forming a massive crater.
There are more than 1,300 public access points on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.Learn more
In 1608, Captain John Smith set off on the first of two voyages where he charted the land and waterways, and later drew an elaborate and remarkably accurate map of the Chesapeake Bay.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
The Chesapeake Bay watershed has 150 major rivers and streams, but contains more than 100,000 smaller tributaries.
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
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
The 195-mile-long Rappahannock River is the longest free flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
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
Eighty-six percent of watershed residents believe if people work together, water pollution can be fixed.
The Chesapeake Bay holds more than 18 trillion gallons of water.
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.
Approximately 51 billion gallons of water flow into the Bay each day from its freshwater tributaries.Learn more
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.Learn more
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to more than 18 and a half 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
The Bay produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year.
At filter feeders, oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.