Restore

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Low tide reveals a healthy oyster reef in Bavon, Virginia.

Photo Credit: © Robert Diller

In programs across the watershed, CBF is fighting to protect and preserve invaluable resource lands, restoring native oysters, and planting trees and stream buffers to restore the Bay's natural filters.

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 accelerated dramatically between 1950 and 1980, with an additional 2.7 million acres built on or paved over. Development has continued across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia at a rate between 30,000 to 40,000 acres per year.

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.

Restoring Our Native Oysters

Native oysters filter pollutants out of the Bay and their reefs provide habitat for fish, crabs, and other Bay organisms. See how we are contributing to the restoration of this keystone species and how you can get involved.

Working With Our Communities

Working one-on-one with farmers and communities to restore streamside forest buffers, living shorelines, and other green infrastructure means better water quality and greater resiliency in the face of climate change. See how restoration projects in Virginia's Hampton, Richmond, Hopewell, and Shenandoah Valley are making a difference for local communities.

From Our Blog

  • Protect Mussels Too

    July 1, 2021

    Nearly half of all mussel species face extinction, threatened by pollution and disease.

  • Save the Bay News: For Your Health, Restore the Bay

    May 21, 2021

    Our monthly roundup of engaging and educational content for you to enjoy at home. This month, we look at how the health of our communities is inseparable from the health of our environment.

  • The Environment and Public Health: Connecting the Dots

    April 7, 2021

    The health of our communities is inseparable from the health of our environment. As policymakers and communities throughout the watershed face the compounding, urgent challenges of environmental degradation, public health crises, racial injustice, and climate change, solutions like these that offer significant co-benefits cannot be ignored. In caring for the Bay's health, we care for our own.

  • The Most Important Bay Bill in a Generation Just Became Law…

    November 12, 2020

    …and you may not even know about it. Don’t feel bad—you’re not alone. CBF has got you covered.

  • Following COVID-19 Restrictions, Oyster Restoration is Back

    June 25, 2020

    After a nearly three-month pause, oyster restoration is back in both Virginia and Maryland.

  • Tree Nurseries: An Essential Bay Business

    April 16, 2020

    In these uncertain times, Pennsylvania nursery growers provide essential crops for clean water. As life challenges in the days of COVID-19 continue, so does the work of adding trees and shrubs to Penn's Woods that will clean and protect Pennsylvania waters. The clean water work does not stop.

  • Communities Rise to the Climate Challenge

    April 5, 2020

    In Baltimore Harbor’s toxic legacy, Turner Station sees a solution for rising seas.

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The Bay Needs You

The 2020 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

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