With a land-to-water ratio higher than that of any other coastal water body in the world, the Chesapeake Bay is particularly vulnerable to the changes we make to the land. Building homes, schools, roads and shopping centers to accommodate our growing population can pollute rivers and streams, degrade habitats, and harm fish and wildlife. But conserving treasured landscapes can protect water quality and the cultural, historical and community values associated with these lands. And encouraging smart growth can protect the natural world while supporting healthy, vibrant communities.
The landscapes around the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are ecologically, culturally, historically and recreationally valuable to the people and communities of the region. Stimulating, renewing and expanding commitments to conserve priority lands for use and enjoyment are integral parts of furthering the watershed’s identity and spirit.