The Chesapeake Bay supports thousands of species, from the brook trout that swim in its headwater streams to the blue crabs found in its tidal waters. These species cannot thrive alone, but rely on one another and on the lands and waters they inhabit. Even we depend on these creatures and their habitats for our wellbeing: fish, shellfish and waterfowl give us food and work, while forests and wetlands clean the air, improve water quality and protect our communities from floods.
Life in the watershed is interconnected. By integrating our work to protect fish and wildlife and restore their habitats, we support a balanced ecosystem and sustain our quality of life.
Habitat loss, poor water quality and harvest pressure continue to threaten the sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay’s recreational and commercial fisheries. Sustaining fish and shellfish populations supports a maritime culture, a strong economy and a healthy ecosystem.
Our increasing need for land and resources has fragmented and degraded habitats across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, challenging the health of many species. Conserving healthy habitats and restoring the connectivity and function of degraded habitats is essential to the long-term resiliency and sustainability of the ecosystem and the region’s quality of life.