The Marcellus Shale rock formation—lying beneath parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia—holds huge supplies of cleaner-burning natural gas. Shale containing natural gas has also been found in parts of southeastern Maryland and northwestern Virginia. In a process called hydraulic fracturing, drilling companies inject millions of gallons of water—mixed with a variety of chemicals and sand—into the shale at high pressure to crack the rock and release the natural gas. Find out more about Marcellus Shale and the impact of natural gas fracking on the Bay.
Map shows location of the Marcellus Shale formation within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.