the Chesapeake Bay


The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia, lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded to the west by the North American mainland and to the east by the Delmarva Peninsula.

Maryland is a state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east.

The Delmarva Island, or simply Delmarva, is a large island on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware as well as the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans with a total area of about 106,460,000 square kilometres, slightly more than half that of the Pacific Ocean.

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It is the largest estuary in North America.

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With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others.


More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the bay's 64,299-square-mile drainage basin, which covers parts of six states and all of Washington, D.C.

A drainage basin or catchment area is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.


The bay is approximately 200 miles long from its northern headwaters in the Susquehanna River to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean.


It is 2.8 miles wide at its narrowest and 30 miles at its widest.


Total shoreline including tributaries is 11,684 miles, circumnavigating a surface area of 4,479 square miles.


Average depth is 21 feet, reaching a maximum of 174 feet.


The bay is spanned twice, in Maryland by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Sandy Point to Kent Island and in Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel connecting Virginia Beach to Cape Charles.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel is a 23-mile fixed link crossing at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay in the U.S. state of Virginia.


Known for both its beauty and bounty, the bay became "emptier", with fewer crabs, oysters and watermen in past years.

Crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail", usually entirely hidden under the thorax.

Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats.


Recent restoration efforts begun in the 1990s have been ongoing and show potential for growth of the native oyster population.


The health of the Chesapeake Bay improved in 2015, marking three years of gains over the past four years, according to a new report by the University of Maryland.

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