Chesapeake Destinations & Wildlife

Destinations: Chesapeake

Join CBF Creative Services Director Loren Barnett and her daughter, Helen, as they explore historic and beautiful destinations throughout the Chespeake region, from Cooperstown, New York to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Click on a pin on the map below to explore "Destinations: Chesapeake" (originally published in CBF's Save the Bay magazine)

Building a Future for the Chesapeake's Oysters

By the 1920s, dredging had removed three-quarters of the Bay's life-giving oyster reefs. The survivors were nearly eradicated in the second half of the 20th century by disease, pollution, and overharvesting. Today, however, there are important new reasons for hope for the Chesapeake Bay's keystone species.

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Blue Crabs Back from the Brink

After plummeting to a near-record low in 2007, blue crab populations in the Bay have nearly tripled over the last five years. But the crab population continues to experience booms and busts, which points to a continuing problem. What needs to be done to create a more stable population?

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Call of the Loon

The presence of loons on the Chesapeake Bay is a common sign of that winter is upon us. But over the last quarter century fewer and fewer loons appear to be visiting the Chesapeake Bay. Scientists believe it's because the bird's main prey are in decline.

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Misunderstood: The Cownose Ray

Every May, flocks of winged creatures soar just beneath the waves from the Atlantic Ocean into the Chesapeake Bay. They are cownose rays and they feed on clams, oysters, and other delectables on the Bay's bottom. Some claim that ray populations have grown too large and are endangering oyster farms. Others call them misunderstood. What's the real story behind these flyers of the deep?

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Osprey Feel the Heat

Osprey are an iconic part of the Chesapeake Bay, their nests crowning channel markers and other landmarks. The epic migrations of osprey from South America to the Chesapeake Bay mark the seasons, with their return in March a traditional sign of spring. But today there are more and more reports of osprey overwintering in the Bay. What's driving the change in migration patterns?

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Terns: Vanishing Royalty

Royal terns—gull-sized fishing birds with majestic black crowns and orange beaks—require isolation to survive. The birds are increasingly hard to find because they nest only on isolated, sandy islands. Now two new dangers are pushing this royal bird out of the Chesapeake.

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