Learn some interesting facts about the Chesapeake Bay.
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About the Chesapeake Bay
"The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary, a body of water where fresh and salt water mix. It is the largest estuary in the United States and the third largest in the world. The Bay is about 200 miles long, stretching from Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Bay’s width ranges from 3.4 miles near Aberdeen, Maryland, to 35 miles near the mouth of the Potomac River. The Bay holds more than 15 trillion gallons of water. The Bay is surprisingly shallow. Its average depth, including all tidal tributaries, is about 21 feet. A person who is six feet tall could wade through more than 700,000 acres of the Bay and never get his or her hat wet. A few deep troughs running along much of the Bay’s length reach up to 174 feet in depth. These troughs are remnants of the ancient Susquehanna River. The Bay and its tidal tributaries have 11,684 miles of shoreline – more than the entire U.S. West Coast. The surface area of the Bay and its tidal tributaries is 125 billion square feet, or around 4,480 square miles. The Bay supports more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and other animals, including 348 species of finfish, 173 species of shellfish and more than 2,700 plant species. The Chesapeake is home to 29 species of waterfowl and is a major resting ground along the Atlantic Flyway. Every year, about 1 million waterfowl winter in the Bay region. The Bay produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year."Bay Barometer
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