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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    Octavio Abruto/iLCP

    Climate Change

    How warmer waters and temps experienced across the globe are impacting us on a local level?

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    Dave Harp

    Dead Zones

    What are they and what can we do about them?

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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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    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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    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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    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

    Drilling offshore poses unjustifiable risks to the Bay, its living resources, tourism economy, and the many jobs that depend on clean water.

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    Nutrient Trading

    Nutrient trading is a way for farmers, foresters, businesses and other facilities to reduce pollution more than is legally required and to sell such additional reductions as credits to other businesses, facilities, and local municipalities so they can meet their reduction requirements.

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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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    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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