Restore

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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 Credit: Margaret Sentman

In programs across the watershed, CBF is restoring native oysters, planting underwater grasses, 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 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.

Find out more about our oyster restoration centers, other restoration programs and the issues CBF is working on in your part of the watershed or volunteer for one of our restoration projects.

From Our Blog

  • Resorts for Oysters

    September 19, 2019

    If you find yourself slurping down oysters at National Harbor, or another MGM property in Las Vegas, you have more than one reason to feel good.

  • Fighting for Oysters

    September 6, 2019

    On a blustery and snowy March day at Maryland’s General Assembly, about a dozen hearty oyster advocates to support two bills designed to help increase the oyster population in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Time’s Running out to Meet Bay Cleanup Goals, Especially in PA

    August 14, 2019

    The historic federal-state partnership working to clean up the Bay’s pollution is entering the final phase of restoration.

  • Northern Neck Oyster Gardeners Help Restore Wild Reefs

    June 27, 2019

    Oyster gardening gives volunteers the opportunity to play a role in bringing back the beloved Chesapeake Bay bivalve.

  • Caring Vet is a Hero Among 'Heroes'

    April 17, 2019

    Retired Navy Senior Chief and Chef Adam Gagne relishes the chance to share his passion for kayak fishing with veterans and first responders.

  • One Prolific Voice for Clean Water

    March 12, 2019

    CBF's Hampton Roads Grassroots Manager Tanner Council describes Hampton resident Claire Neubert as one of the most prolific volunteers CBF has ever worked with.

  • This Week in the Watershed: The Bay's Cornerstone

    February 22, 2019

    Following decades of restoration work, we are making progress restoring the Bay's native oyster population. And two pieces of legislation before the Maryland General Assembly would take restoration efforts even further.

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