Watershed

64,000 square miles of land around the Bay “shed” their water into the Chesapeake through streams, rivers, and runoff.  Let’s take a look at how that works. Printables: Additional Links: …

Plankton

The plankton, or drifters, of the Chesapeake Bay are often invisible to the human eye.  However, these plant and animal species for the base of the estuary’s food chain.   …

Blue Crab

One of the best-known species in the Chesapeake is the Atlantic Blue Crab.  What makes these waterways such a productive habitat for this organism? Printables: Additional Links: The National Aquarium …

Eastern Oyster

A single adult oyster can filter up to 50-gallons of water in a single day.  For this reason, they may be one of the most important species when it comes …

Salinity

Salinity refers to the amount of salt contained in a given sample of water.  When salt water from the ocean mixes with fresh water from the land it produces brackish …

SAVs

Printables: Additional Links: The Chesapeake Bay Program provides a great overview of underwater grasses: https://www.chesapeakebay.net/issues/bay_grasses The MD Department of Natural Resources has developed an excellent key to identify SAVs: https://dnr.maryland.gov/waters/bay/Documents/SAV/complete_sav_key.pdf …

Intertidal Zone (Seining)

Printables: ADDITIONAL LINKS: National Geographic article with a good definition of the intertidal zone: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/intertidal-zone/   The National Park Service provides an overview of different types of intertidal zones: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/oceans/intertidal.htm …

Water Quality – Nitrogen

Nitrogen can enter the Bay’s waterways through natural processes as well as man-made contributions.  How does this impact the health of the Chesapeake? Printables: Additional Links: The USGS provides an …

Water Quality – pH

Scientists measure a water’s pH level to see if it is acidic, basic, or neutral.  Let’s look at contributing factors that could tilt the scales in one direction or another. …