The Chesapeake Bay watershed
spans 64,000 square miles and six states,
from central New York to the Blue Ridge
Mountains of Virginia.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation
rated the bay a 31, or a D+, in 2010.
The bay suffers from chronic nutrient
pollution and low oxygen.
Populations of bay oysters
have crashed to less than 1 percent
of their historic highs.
Federal and state governments
have spent more than $5 billion trying
to clean up the Chesapeake.
The bay is home to more than 3,600
species of plants, fish and animals.
The value of commercial fishing
in the Chesapeake as a whole is more
than $300 million each year.
In 2010, 17.2 million people lived
in the Bay watershed. That number could grow to more than 20 million by 2030.
Baltimore and Hampton Roads,
two of North America's major ports,
handle 200,000 tons of cargo daily.
States missed pollution reduction
goals in 2010 by a wide margin. They
have since resolved to decrease
pollution significantly by 2025.
The Chesapeake welcomed
the first permanent European
settlers at Jamestown in 1607, and
supported the American Indians