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.
From Our Blog
October 12, 2018
Before the Chesapeake was first explored by Captain John Smith in 1608, the Bay was known for its oysters. But the magnitude of the Bay's oyster population has dropped precipitously since the days when Smith wrote that oysters "lay thick as stones."
October 11, 2018
For decades, photographer James Balog has focused on the relationship between people and nature. For his latest project, Balog traveled across the country to examine how people are altering the elements of life—from wildfires to air pollution to rising waters.
October 5, 2018
It was less than a generation ago that America was confronted with the consequences of the degradation of the environment.
September 28, 2018
Higher rates of asthma, increased chances of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis. These are just a few of the health impacts caused by the long-term breathing of fine particulate matter.
September 21, 2018
Most understand that how we treat the land has a direct correlation to the health of our waterways. But often overlooked is the major impact air pollution has on water quality.
September 20, 2018
Veteran newspaper photographer John Pavoncello has been eye-to-eye with all kinds of human drama.