Do you have a question about the Chesapeake Bay? Explore our list of frequently asked questions to learn more about the Bay and its watershed, habitats and wildlife. You can browse the FAQ by category, or explore the answers to some of our most common questions below.
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How many acres of forest are lost in the Chesapeake Bay region each day?
Between 1982 and 1997, the Bay watershed lost more than 750,000 acres of forestland—about 100 acres per day. In 2006, this rate fell to an estimated 70 acres per day, but it remains unsustainable.
How much pollution can forests absorb?
Streamside forests or riparian forest buffers can reduce the amount of nutrient pollution entering waterways by as much as 30 to 90 percent. Forests can also capture more than 85 percent of the nitrogen that falls onto them from the air.
What are forest buffers?
Forest buffers are the trees, shrubs and other plants that grow next to streams and rivers.
How do forest buffers benefit the Chesapeake Bay?
Forest buffers are critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Forest buffers prevent pollution from entering rivers and streams, stabilize stream banks, provide food and habitat to wildlife and keep streams cool during hot weather. More than half of the watershed’s native species depend on forest buffers for food, shelter and access to water at some point in their lives. And sensitive aquatic species depend on the shade that streamside trees provide.
How do forest buffers protect water quality?
Forest buffers prevent polluted runoff from entering rivers and streams. Forest buffers also hold soil in place, stabilizing stream banks and reducing the amount of sand, silt and sediment that can wash into waterways.
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