The Chesapeake Bay provides food, water, cover, and nesting or nursery areas to more than 3,000 migratory and resident wildlife species. Freshwater tributaries, shallow water, and open water all present unique habitat for the Bay's denizens. One of the most unique is the oyster reef.

    • Habitat Degradation

    The Importance of Habitat

    Fostering a healthy habitat—from the hardwood forests of the Appalachian mountains to the saltwater marshes of the Bay—is vital to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the life that depends on it. 


    • Oyster Reefs

    Recreating the Chesapeake's Oyster Reefs

    Around the Bay, in places like Virginia's Lafayette River and Maryland's Harris Creek, CBF and our partners are working to reestablish critical oyster reefs. A key element of this effort is placing large concrete reef balls, on which baby oyster "spat" are set, into areas designated as oyster sanctuaries.

    On May 6, 2014, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation organized an expedition to investigate the Somerset Oyster Sanctuary restoration site in Tangier Sound, one of three sites designated by the Maryland General Assembly. What researchers discovered about the value of reef balls for oyster restoration was remarkable.

    • Oyster Reefs

    Chesapeake Fish Love Live Bottom

    Capts. Karl Willey and Dan Johannes smiled when they saw the sonar images. After all, they had planted most of those oysters. Their reef hosts a huge variety of critters, including anemones, marine worms, sponges, small crustaceans, and tiny fish. All which attract a variety of predators.


Share Your Clean Water Story

What does the Bay, its rivers and streams mean to you? What impact have the Bay and its local waters had on your life? We'd like to know.

Share Your Story


Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Close