Quick Facts About the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
- The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary: a body of water where fresh and saltwater mix. It is the largest of more than 100 estuaries in the United States and third-largest in the world.
- The surface area of the Bay and its tidal tributaries is approximately 4,480 square miles.
- The Chesapeake Bay was formed about 10,000 years ago when glaciers melted and flooded the Susquehanna River valley.
- 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.
- Approximately eight million acres of land in the Bay watershed are permanently protected from development.
- There are more than 700 public access points on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
- The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to more than 18 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.
- The Chesapeake Bay’s land-to-water ratio is 14:1: the largest of any coastal water body in the world. This is why our actions on land have such a big impact on the Bay’s health.
Chesapeake Bay Report Card
Healthy Watershed: Find your watershed and track its health
Model My Watershed
Shared Waters Project
The Shared Waters project embeds MWEEs into the district and school curriculum, trains a cohort of teachers to become experts in local watershed conditions and MWEE implementation, supports an upstream/downstream collaboration between schools in PA and VA, and institutionalizes MWEE instruction in teacher preparation programs.
51 Lyte Rd. Millersville, Pa 17551