The Issues

Home to more than 18 million people and 3,600 species of plants and animals, the Chesapeake Bay watershed is a vast, rich, and complex system. And the issues it faces, from polluted runoff to dead zones, are equally complex. Learn more below.

  • IMG_4289 cows at Clagett Brian Young1171x593

    Brian Young/CBF Staff


    What role do farms and agricultural production play in the health of our waters?

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    Air Pollution

    Learn more about air pollution and how it affects the Chesapeake Bay each year, home to more than 3,600 plants and animals.

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    Krista Schlyer/iLCP

    Chemical Contamination

    Chemical contaminants in water do not break down easily and persist in the environment for many years, impacting not just fish and birds, but humans as well.

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    Troy Wenger

    Climate Change

    How are warmer waters and temperatures experienced across the globe impacting the Chesapeake Bay?

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    John Surrick/CBF Staff

    Dead Zones

    Learn more about the Chesapeake Bay dead zone, what causes dead zones, and how dead zones affect plants, animals, and humans in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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    Susan Hale

    Economy & Human Health

    From providing an important source of drinking water to supporting a seafood industry that sustains families and generations-old ways of life, the Chesapeake Bay watershed is an integral part to the human health and wealth of more than 18 million people.

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    Rob Beach/CBF Staff

    Environmental Justice

    Clean water, clean air, and a safe environment are rights we all share. Here are just a few of the ways CBF is working to ensure that everyone has equal access to clean water, clean air, and a safe environment.

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    John Surrick/CBF Staff


    Learn about the Chesapeake Bay’s key fisheries and how CBF is working to restore and maintain them.

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    Justin Black/iLCP

    Forest Loss

    To save the Bay, forests need to flourish throughout the watershed.

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    Dave Harp

    Habitat Loss

    Habitat loss is the biggest threat to the 3,600 species that call the Chesapeake Bay watershed home

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  • sprawl on farmland Garth Lenz iLCP 695x352

    Garth Lenz/iLCP

    Land Use

    When the watershed's land suffers from pollution and poor management, so too does the water.

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  • drillinginstateforest1TomPelton-CBFStaff_695x352.jpg

    Natural Gas

    Safeguarding our lands and waters from the effects of natural gas drilling is imperative.

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    Offshore Drilling

    Beneath the seabeds just off our nation’s shores are rock formations that may contain petroleum. Oil and gas companies have been calling for an increase in offshore drilling to tap into these potential reserves. However, is it worth it? (Spoiler: No. Here’s why.)

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    Krista Schlyer/iLCP

    Runoff Pollution

    Learn why runoff pollution is one of the most harmful sources of pollution and what we can do to help the Chesapeake Bay, home to more than 3,600 plants and animals.

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  • Easton-Utilities-wastewater-treatment-plants.-Photo-courtesy-City-of-Easton_695x352.jpg

    City of Easton

    Sewage & Septic Systems

    Upgrading wastewater treatment is critical to cleaning up the Bay and its rivers and streams.

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    Scott Suriano

    Water Quality Trading

    Water quality trading can supply cost-effective pollution reductions to meet water quality goals.

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  • Suffolk VA wetlands Morgan Heim iLCP 1171x593

    Morgan Heim/iLCP

    Wetlands Protection

    Wetlands are a critical component to the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

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