A few numbers on the bounty of the Bay:
Humans have lived in the Bay region for 12,000 years, but the first sizeable
settlements were built only 1,000 years ago.
were] lying so thicke with their heads above the water, as for the want
of nets we attempted to catch them with our frying pan.”
—Captain John Smith, 1608
- About 1 million waterfowl spend their winters in the Bay area. Millions
more make their way through Bay country every year along the Atlantic Migratory
- The Bay watershed has 1.7 million acres of the wetlands environments crucial
to the life cycles of so many plant and animal species. That’s less
than half the amount that was here during Colonial times.
- The Chesapeake “waterman” is the best known of the region’s
unique local cultures. Over the centuries, these watermen have made their
livings from Bay waters in vessels bearing such colorful names as the log
canoe, the bugeye, the deadrise, and the skipjack.
- The world-famous Chesapeake blue crab has long been a symbol of the Bay’s
bounty. In recent years, the annual blue crab harvest has sold for an average
of more than $50 million annually.
- The Bay is a major international shipping corridor, with some 100 million
tons of cargo moving in and out of Chesapeake ports annually.
For more information on the Chesapeake Bay, visit the Chesapeake Bay Program at www.chesapeakebay.net.