Explore the Bay


A serene sunset in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Jon McRay

This page gives you quick access to content across the website to help you discover the wonders of the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers and streams that feed it throughout the watershed. Explore Bay-related stories, videos, podcasts, interactive activities, and more. You can even download Bay photo backgrounds for digital use.

Bay Cam

This penthouse overlooking CBF's Philip Merrill Environmental Center headquarters and the beautiful Bay has housed both geese and osprey over the years. Tune in and take a Zen break—if nothing else, enjoy those calming Bay waters in the background.

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Bay Facts

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and its watershed is truly an extraordinary place. Here is sampling of some of the impressive facts and numbers about our wondrous Bay and watershed.
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Bay Stories

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Bay Videos

We're bringing you out on the water and beyond with compelling stories and helpful tips about Bay life and the current challenges facing it.

  • Algae Problems on the Shenandoah River’s North Fork

    Every summer, excessive algae growth, fueled by nutrient pollution and warm temperatures, causes problems for people who spend time on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

  • The Future of Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

    Data from a recent survey gives valuable insight into the future of the striped bass population and is an important tool in setting fisheries regulations. The Chesapeake Bay and its rivers form a key nursery area for striped bass, and clean water here is critical to the future of the fishery.

  • Blue Crab Lifecycle

    Explore the lifecycle of one of the Chesapeake Bay's most iconic residents, the blue crab.

  • A Day on the Water with the Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey

    In March 2023, CBF joined researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) for the annual Chesapeake Bay blue crab winter dredge survey.

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Chesapeake Almanac Podcast

Podcast title with graphics of marsh grass, crab, duck, and seal, and headshot of John Page Williams.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Take a week-by-week trip around the Chesapeake. Naturalist John Page Williams' fascinating seasonal natural history will enable those who love the Chesapeake to tune in to life around the Bay. What will you discover?
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From freshwater mussels to microplastics, CBF's webinars serve up timely, science-based explorations into Bay topics that will delight and inform. Browse our archive and find out what's coming up.
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Ask an Expert Series

How does the Chesapeake Bay's amazing natural system work? And how can we restore and protect it? Explore the answers with our CBF experts in this bite-sized video series.

  • Ask an Expert: What Is a Fish Kill?

    Why do dozens, hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of fish wash ashore dead? What types of environmental factors can cause these mass die-offs? How can we prevent them from happening?

  • Ask an Expert: What's the Buzz About Bee Balm?

    What native plant is medicinal, can be used as a tasty tea, is good for the environment, and has beautiful flowers that attract bees and butterflies? Find out why bee balm could be a great addition to your garden with CBF's Jay Ford.

  • Ask an Expert: What are Mummichogs (and Why are They Amazing)?

    Believe it or not, mummichogs were the first fish sent into space. This "mud minnow," common in brackish marshes, lives an amazing secret life serving science, wildlife, and fishermen. Learn more from Chris Moore, CBF's Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist.

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On the Water Resources

There are dozens of ways to experience the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. From mobile apps to websites and maps, here's our selection of resources to help you get out on the Bay and its tributaries, paddle historic water trails, plan an excursion through history across the watershed, and even find healthy beaches.

Interactive Activities

Coloring Pages

Local artist David Scheirer has transformed his extraordinary art into coloring pages for you and your family to enjoy.
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Chesapeake Bay Crossword Puzzle

Test your Chesapeake Bay knowledge with our newest activity: a Chesapeake Bay crossword puzzle.
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Oyster Quiz

You may know a healthy Chesapeake Bay depends on water-filtering oysters. But what else do you know about the Bay's favorite bivalve? Take the popular oyster quiz to find out!
Take the Quiz

Bay Footprint Calculator

Use this fun and handy tool to identify ways your lifestyle adds pollution to the Bay and what you can do to reduce it.
Find Your Footprint

Bay Backgrounds

Collection of computer and cell phone screens with photos.

Photo credits from left: Glenn Woodell, William Mish, Edward Episcopo, Billy Garrett.

Bring the Bay to your next virtual meeting with one of our stunning Bay backgrounds.
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The Bay Needs You

The 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.

Donate Today

Stay Up-to-Date on Bay News

Want to stay up-to-date on all news and happenings in your region and across the Chesapeake watershed? Join our digital community.

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