How many miles of shoreline make up the Chesapeake Bay?

The Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries have roughly 11,600 miles of shoreline—more than the entire U.S. west coast.

What makes an area a wetland?

An area is considered a wetland based on its plants and soil. Wetlands are dominated by plants called hydrophytes that are adapted for life in wet soils. Wetlands also have hydric soils, meaning they are periodically saturated or flooded.

What threatens wetlands?

Wetlands are threatened by direct impacts such as shoreline development and invasive species, as well as water-quality impacts from excess nutrients, sediment and chemical contaminants. Many wetlands are also at risk due to effects from climate change and sea level rise.

What benefits do wetlands provide?

Wetlands filter polluted runoff, ease flood and storm damages, provide habitat for wildlife and offer opportunities for recreation like fishing, hunting and bird-watching.

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