Chesapeake watershed facts
Watershed facts from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Program
- The Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest estuary (where fresh & salt water come together) and the world’s third largest.
- “Chesapeake” derives from the Native American “Tschiswapeki,” which loosely translates into “great shellfish bay.”
- The Chesapeake Bay watershed is 64,000 square miles and encompasses parts of six states – Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and Washington D.C.
- The Bay has 11,600 miles of tidal shoreline – more than the entire US west coast!
- 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.
- Approximately 17 million people live in the watershed; about 10 million people live along its shores or near them.
- There are more than 100,000 streams, creeks, or rivers in the watershed, including 150 major rivers.
- One can reach a Bay tributary in less than 15 minutes from nearly everywhere in the watershed.
- The leading threat to the health of the Chesapeake Bay is excess nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from agriculture, sewage treatment plants, runoff from urban and suburban areas, and air pollution from automobiles, factories, and power plants.
- Everything we do on the land—including the use of automobiles, fertilizers, pesticides, toilets, water and electricity—affects our streams, rivers and the Bay.
This article has been featured on our site to highlight the news and updates from our members. The original source can be found on the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust website. View the original article here Chesapeake watershed facts.