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 abundant 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

  • 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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FY21 Restoration Accomplishments

BEGAN a three-year project to restore 200 acres of streamside forest along the Upper James River watershed.

CONVERTED 800+ acres of farmland to rotationally grazed pastures.

COMPLETED a multi-year project that planted more than 60 million oysters in the Little Choptank and Tred Avon rivers.

HELPED farmers in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania install conservation practices that have prevented 5.8 million pounds of sediment, 38,000 pounds of nitrogen, and 6,000 pounds of phosphorus from reaching the Bay through CBF's Mountains-to-Bay Grazing Alliance.

GREW our Chesapeake Oyster Alliance from from 60 to 73 partners and added over 2.37 billion oysters to the Bay on the way to our 10 billion goal.

     

GREW our Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership from 138 to 197.

PLANTED more than 3.09 million trees in highly targeted locations.

Support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today

Volunteer

Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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