Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network   Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Contact Us   Site Index 
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
About the Chesapeake BayVisit a GatewayMap CenterSee the BayFacts and FunThe Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

     Bay Info
     Bay History
     Exploring the Bay
     Places and People
     Bay Regions
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Home > About the Chesapeake > Bay Info > Why Does The Bay Matter?
Why Does The Bay Matter?

A few numbers on the bounty of the Bay:

  • “[The fish 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
    Humans have lived in the Bay region for 12,000 years, but the first sizeable settlements were built only 1,000 years ago.
  • 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 Bird Flyway.
  • 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.


Printer Symbol Print Version   Envelope Mail Symbol E-mail To a Friend   Provide Your Comments Comments/Feedback   Bookmark This Page Bookmark This Page

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use| Browser Plug-ins | RSS Feeds | Copyright 2009 Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network Chesapeake Bay ProgramNational Park Service