Through Restoration

Photo by Margaret Sentman
After plummeting to a near-record low in 2007, blue crab populations in the Bay have nearly tripled thanks to restrictions on catching females. Photo by Margaret Sentman

Bringing Native Species Back from the Brink

In the four centuries since the explorations of Captain John Smith, the Chesapeake Bay has lost half of its forested shoreline, more than half its wetlands, nearly 80 percent of its underwater grasses, and more than 98 percent of its oysters. Across the watershed, approximately 1.7 million acres of once-untouched land were developed by 1950. Development has accelerated dramatically since then, with an additional 2.7 million acres built on or paved over between 1950 and 1980.

The human pressure of these changes has imposed heavy negative impacts on the health and resilience of the Bay. Although we will never return to the pristine territory explored by Captain John Smith during those early voyages, CBF is fighting to return this fragile ecosystem to balance.

For years, CBF has been a leader in restoration efforts that improve the capacity of rivers, streams, and the Bay to treat pollution. In programs across the watershed, many of them conducted with CBF volunteers and partner organizations, CBF is restoring native oysters, planting underwater grasses, and planting trees, to restore the Bay's natural filters. CBF's Clagett Farm is a working farm and a site for field experiences for students, teachers, and adults.

Find out more about the issues CBF is working on in your part of the watershed or volunteer for one of our restoration projects.

You may also be interested in
  • Oyster Gardening in the Inner Harbor CBF and the Waterfront Partnership have created The Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership as art of the Healthy Harbor Initiative to make Baltimore's Inner Harbor swimmable and fishable.
  • Maryland Oyster Gardening Help restore oysters in Maryland. Start your own oyster garden.
  • S.O.S. - Save Oyster Shell Donate your empty shells to CBF so we can recycle them into more oyster reefs and repopulate the Bay with more oysters.
  • Maryland Oyster Restoration Center CBF's Oyster Restoration Center serves as the central location for all of CBF’s oyster restoration activities in Maryland.
  • Stream & Shoreline Restoration Healthy rivers, streams, and shorelines provide vital habitat. CBF and our volunteers are working to keep waterways healthy and restore those that are impaired.
  • Stream Restoration Healthy rivers and streams provide vital habitat. CBF and our volunteers are working to keep Pennsylvania waterways healthy and restore those that are impaired.
  • CBF Creates First Urban Living Shoreline in Annapolis CBF staff and volunteers created a living shoreline in the Parkwood neighborhood in Annapolis.

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