The lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed are linked. Because activities on land profoundly affect water quality, headwaters and tributaries can impact the bay hundreds of miles downstream. The Conservancy joins a number of active partners in the bay working to safeguard high quality lands and waters and restore degraded habitat.
Crossing Borders to Protect the Bay
Nature knows no political boundaries. In recognition of this, the Conservancy works across ecoregions — large geographic areas of land and water defined by climate, vegetation, geology and other natural patterns.
We use science to identify critical plant and animal habitats across the watershed and in the bay, monitor our conservation activities and gauge the success of our work. To date, the Conservancy has helped to preserve more than 160,000 acres in the bay watershed.
Conservation easements and land acquisition stem inappropriate development, which limits the natural flow of water, depletes aquifers and contributes to flooding, erosion and pollution. Sustainable forestry protects wooded areas which filter out pollutants, lessen the effects of erosion and flooding and also provide habitat for wildlife.
Through partnerships with farmers, we use agricultural easements to protect land from development and control pollution by encouraging best management practices.
The Conservancy is also encouraging sustainable water management as well as efforts to restore the interconnected systems of the bay and its tributaries. Restoring natural water flow ensures the survival of migratory species such as shad and striped bass and protects the health of other plant and animal life.
We’re also expanding our role by participating in restoration efforts of key bay habitats, such as native oyster reefs, to help both the natural and economic health of the bay.
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Learn about the challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay area.
Partnerships are key to our success in the bay watershed.