What We Do to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

Pier on Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. Encompassing six states and the District of Columbia, and covering more than 64,000 square miles, it is one of the most productive estuaries in the world. Unfortunately, the Chesapeake Bay faces serious problems due to human activities, including polluted stormwater runoff, over fertilization and pollution from animal wastes, deforestation, wetland destruction from agricultural, urban, and suburban development, and sea level rise caused by global climate change.

In 2009, NWF helped launch the Choose Clean Water Coalition to advocate for restoring the thousands of streams and rivers flowing to the Chesapeake Bay.  The Coalition brings together more than 200 organizations from Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia to advocate for clean water.

NWF is committed to:

  • Supporting Chesapeake pollution limits and the Chesapeake Bay agreement NWF advocates for clean water policies at the state and federal level to protect the Chesapeake Bay. As the 2017 and 2025 pollution deadlines approach, NWF is working with partners to support the implementation of state clean water blueprints and Chesapeake Bay pollution limits. A new Bay agreement, signed in 2014, creates goals and strategies which envision clean water and abundant wildlife in a restored Chesapeake Bay.

  • Stopping polluted runoff in cities and towns Stormwater runoff is a growing source of nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Through NWF’s Community Wildlife Habitat program we are creating a ring of sustainable communities around the Chesapeake Bay and planting gardens in cities like Baltimore where greening projects are increasing quality of life for residents, reducing water pollution and increasing pollinators.

  • Ensuring a more resilient Chesapeake BayThe impacts of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay are becoming more pronounced every day – warming water, flooding, and sea level rise.  Using NWF’s extensive background in climate-smart conservation, the Mid-Atlantic Regional center is developing restoration projects to put principles into practice and identify the best ways to protect wildlife and human communities.

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