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.

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

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    Air Pollution

    The close link between the health of our air and the health of our waters.

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    Krista Schlyer/iLCP

    Chemical Contamination

    Toxic chemicals are entering our waters everyday. What can we do about them?

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  • raging floodwaters

    Troy Wenger

    Climate Change

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

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    Dave Harp

    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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    Rob Beach/CBF Staff

    Environmental Justice

    Clean water, clean air, and a safe environment are rights we all share.

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    John Surrick/CBF Staff


    Menhaden, striped bass, shad, blue crabs, and oysters are fundamental to the Bay and its waters.

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    Justin Black/iLCP

    Forest Loss

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

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  • Blue-Crab-in-Widgeon-Grass-Bed--Jay-Fleming-2010_695x352.jpg

    Jay Fleming/iLCP

    Habitat Degradation

    Rebuilding healthy and resilient habitat for all Bay critters is a key to saving the Chesapeake.

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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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    Emmy Nicklin/CBF Staff

    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

    Polluted Runoff

    Polluted runoff is one of the most harmful sources of pollution to the Bay and its waters.

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    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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    Karine Aigner/iLCP

    Wetlands Protection

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

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  • Aigner RAVE three boys at Sandy Point State Park 695x352

    Karine Aigner/iLCP

    What We Have to Lose

    The Chesapeake Bay watershed is an integral part of the health and wealth of millions of people.

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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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The Bay Needs You

The 2018 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

Save the Bay

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

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