Understanding the ecology of the Bay is an important part of understanding the importance of different management practices. Management strategies in the Bay strive to reduce the amount of pollution and toxins within the Bay and restore habitats for the thousands of species that thrive there. The estuary is a complex ecosystem that includes important habitats and food chains.The terms often used to describe the bay include estuary, watershed, and wetland. Below you will find explanations of what these terms mean.
The Blue Crab is an important icon and cultural representation for those in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. However, their population is declining due to harvesting pressures and various forms of pollution. Watch this video to learn more!
Oysters are an iconic species of the Chesapeake Bay region, however, their population has been declining. Learn more about the oyster population and oyster decline in the video below!
The Chesapeake Bay is a great example of how many things in nature are interrelated. The sedimentation issues seen through the bay are a great specific example. The sediment that floods the bay and effects both water quality and biotic life does not come immediately from the bay, or even just from the surrounding shoreline. The watershed drains around 64,000 square miles and sediment is transported through the drainage basins and river channels to the bay itself. Loose sediment from construction, timber harvesting, and farming makes its way, through the six states that make up the watershed, all the down to the bay.