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How we can fix water pollution

Eighty-six percent of watershed residents believe if people work together, water pollution can be fixed.

84 degrees Fahrenheit

Water temperatures in the Bay fluctuate widely throughout the year, reaching as high as 84 degrees in summer.

Largest estuary in the United States

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.

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Litter bugs

Nine in ten watershed residents never toss food wrappers, cups or cigarette butts on the ground. Almost eight in ten watershed residents pick up litter when they see it.

12 miles wide

The mouth of the Chesapeake Bay is about 12 miles wide between its northern point near Cape Charles, Virginia, and its southern point close to Cape Henry, Virginia.

Chesapeake National Recreation Area

Legislation proposed by Maryland’s Senator Chris Van Hollen and Representative John Sarbanes to incorporate the bay into the nation’s park system.

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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Remnants of an ancient river

A few deep troughs run along much of the Bay’s length and are believed to be remnants of the ancient Susquehanna River.

The Chesapeake Bay's first inhabitants

The first inhabitants of the Chesapeake Bay region are referred to as Paleo-Indians. They came more than 10,000 years ago from other parts of North America, drawn in by the abundance of wildlife and waterways.

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29 species of waterfowl

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

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Three geologic regions

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

10 U.S. presidents

There have been 10 U.S. presidents from the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, James Buchanan and Joe Biden.

Can we do more?

Seventy percent of watershed residents want to do more to help make their local creeks, rivers and lakes healthier.

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Scooping the poop

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.

Longest river fully within Maryland

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

174 feet deep

The deepest part of the Bay, located southeast of Annapolis near Bloody Point, is called “The Hole” and is 174 feet deep.

87 species of waterbirds

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.

Avoiding toxic pesticides

Forty-six percent of watershed residents never use toxic pesticides in or around their homes. You can evaluate a pesticide’s toxicity to judge the risk in using it, or make your own non-toxic pesticide with garlic, vinegar, cooking oil and other common household items.

12 major rivers

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.

Filtering drinking water

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

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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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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.”

6,282,718 acres of greenspace

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

60% of Chesapeake forests

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.

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