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 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.

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.

Supporting Underwater Grass Beds

Underwater grasses combat the overabundance of nitrogen and phosphorus and are an important source of food and habitat. Volunteers in CBF's Grasses for the Masses program help restore grass beds along the Potomac, James, Chickahominy, and Rappahannock rivers.

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

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Decades of Success: The 1970s

Even as a young organization, our work was effective and got noticed. Find out what we did.

Explore Our Timeline

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