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Chesapeake Bay: A case study in resiliency and restoration

November 1, 2021

Chesapeake Bay (“mother of waters” or the “great shellfish Bay” in Algonquin), is the largest estuary in the United States and arguably the best studied estuary in the world. Chesapeake Bay is immense, with the main stem stretching 200 nautical miles (315 km) from the mouth of the Susquehanna River to its terminus at the Atlantic Ocean and an overall watershed encompassing 64,000 mi2 (165,000 km2). The mainstem, tributaries, and Bay islands form thousands of miles of coastline (Figure 1). Because of its prominence in estuarine science and ecosystem restoration, developing a working knowledge of Chesapeake Bay science and restoration is important. Hopefully, this overview will whet the appetite to learn more from information available both in the scientific literature and on the Chesapeake Bay Program website www.chesapeakebay.net