Map Courtesy of Karl Musser, author, published on Wikipedia
About The Chesapeake Bay watershed
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is huge. It is the largest watershed in the United States and the third largest in the world. It is over 64,000 square miles and is so large that over 100,000 tributaries make their way into the bay. Within its boundaries are parts of six states and Washington DC.
And almost 18 million people call it home.
The Bay itself is a treasure but to think of the Chesapeake as only the Bay is a disservice. The watershed is made up of ancient Appalachian mountains through the Piedmont plateau and the Atlantic coastal plain. In these habitats are diverse plants and animals- over 3,700 species to be exact. The forests of the watershed filter over 75% of the drinking water that flows into the homes of watershed residents.
It is an important region, that is amassed with beauty. It is also responsible for economic development for a large portion of the United States.
But with development comes large issues such as stormwater runoff (a growing source of pollution in the bay), improving water clarity for underwater grass growth, and the effects of climate change. Some effects are already being witnessed such as rising seas and warming water temperatures.